Many readers have fond memories of Misty of Chincoteague, the beloved tale by Marguerite
Henry about the Beebe siblings and their Chincoteague pony. I still own my paperback copy, now falling apart at the seams. I don’t know how many times I read it, but I know that the book and the island left an imprint on my heart that I wasn’t aware of for many years.
In 2014, I began writing a book about Kate, a young woman who flees her life in the city to start over in a place with no ties to her former life, a place to escape and hide, a place to be reborn. Without giving it a thought, I watched my character pack her car and head to Chincoteague Island off the coast of Virginia.
This wasn’t surprising for me—my characters always do what they want and end up in places and predicaments I never foresaw. What was surprising was how vivid the location and the islanders were in my mind. I’d been to Chincoteague a handful of times, and have family who live on the island, but these images and personalities were so real to me that I began to think of them as friends.
Six years after the publication of the award-winning Island of Miracles, I can honestly say that…