All posts by Linda Watkins

Linda is a retired financial analyst turned author. Her first novel, "Mateguas Island", a supernatural thriller, will, hopefully, be published in the not too distant future. Other works in process include: "Return to Mateguas Island", "The Carved Chest", and "The Vacuum Cleaner".

Why I Wrote “Summer Girl”


When I started on this journey, that of being a writer, I intended to stay to the “dark side,” writing gothic horror or mystery. My first three novels, The Mateguas Island Series exemplified that decision.

After winning multiple awards for the series, it seemed contemporary gothic fiction was my home. But a book I read in 2016 put me on another path. The novel entitled, The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni, moved me greatly. It is a wonderful novel – beautiful and, at the same time, dark and terrible. Geni, to me, painted a picture with her words and something inside of me longed to try to do the same. You can read my review of The Lightkeepers on Amazon, Review: The Lightkeepers by Jasper. (Note: I review as my Irish Wolfhound, Jasper).

Thus, I began writing Summer Girl, A Novell. I set the story mainly in 1965 because I wanted to write about a time before cell phones, video games, Facebook, and Twitter. I wanted to write about a time when kids actually talked to one another and, when they went to the beach, always carried a paperback novel or a hardcover book borrowed from the local library. Also, like Gens’s novel, Summer Girl is set on an island and, one of my goals, was to depict island life – the strong sense of family and community that is present on small islands off the coast of Maine. I know about this intimately – I lived on such an island for seven years and it was there I started writing in earnest.

Summer Girl is a love story about two kids who meet one summer in 1965. But, as I wrote, it became more than that. I found myself writing about the horrors of child abuse and about a young girl’s fight for survival against even the most terrible odds. But, most of all, Summer Girl is about the human capacity for hope.

I cried a lot as I wrote this book and I believe it is my best writing to date and, possibly, the best book I will ever write. It is a part of me and dedicated to all women and girls who have suffered abuse or any kind.

Since its publication, I have been blessed with reviews of the novel that are overwhelmingly positive and glowing. I thank my readers for taking the time to share their thoughts about my work.

If you’d like to know more about Summer Girl, please visit the book’s Amazon page. It’s available in eBook and print formats and, in addition, is available to read **free** on KindleUnlimited. Just click here: Summer Girl, A Novel