Carrie Sparks McClain will introduce her first book, “Dragonfly,” Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. during a book launch party/ meet and greet in the main dining room at Arezzo’s Italian Fine Dining in downtown Winchester.
McClain, says she is a “local girl through and through,” having been raised in Decherd and Winchester.
She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University where she majored in public relations and has enjoyed working at Sewanee: the University of the South in undergraduate admissions for many years.
“Many of my ideas for the book came from living in the small town of Winchester,” McClain said. “I did some of my research by talking with local people, and I used my own memories of growing up here with the beauty of Tim’s Ford Lake to set the scene.”
McClain also took to heart the advice from many other authors to write to develop her writing skills, but the real challenge for her was in piecing the storyline together and adding the mystery to it.
Dragonfly’s main character, Aubrey Todd, swore she would never return…10 years later, however, after the tragic death of her beloved aunt, she finds herself the new owner of her aunt’s lake house that holds her summertime childhood memories — good and bad. There she discovers that to move on with her life, she will have to go back to the sleepy southern town of Walker and the boy that forced her to leave.
She quickly learns that not everything is quite what it seems. The lake holds a deep, dark secret to her aunt’s story, and someone is determined to keep the past in the past.
Excerpt from the book
“The heat of the Tennessee sun barreled down on the teenage face of Aubrey Todd as she rode shotgun with the top down in her aunt’s BMW. As they drove over the bridge that crossed Majestic Lake, she breathed deeply the scent of fishy water and fresh cut grass. It was the essence of summertime for her and she wanted the memory to last. She had been able to spend six weeks with her aunt this summer, basking in the opportunity to get away from her parents and their rules for the short amount of time, but the summer was drawing to an end and so was her annual visit to Walker.”
A challenge to write
McClain said Dragonfl y was a challenge to write and took 2½ years simply because finding the time to write with a full-time job and a family was not easy.
“But I used my spare time after I put my daughter to bed at night and before anyone got up on Saturday mornings,” Mc-Clain said.
Her husband was a big help with keeping their daughter occupied if she was focused on writing a scene.
“Since he is a songwriter and musician himself, he understands the importance of writing when an idea comes to you instead of waiting until you have a minute to jot something down,” McClain said. “You lose some great ideas by not getting them on paper the minute they come to you.”
She is working on the second book in the Walker mystery series. She will have her book available at the book launch party and it is also available at www.amazon.com ISBN-13: 978-1495215766.