Books: ‘Summertime’ (UK), ‘Under a Dark Summer Sky’ (US)
Click to buy
Genre: historical fiction
Publisher: Orion (UK), Sourcebooks Landmark (US); Belfond/France Loisirs/Pax Norway/Neri Pozza/DeFontein other rights available from Tina Betts, Andrew Mann Ltd
Publication date(s): Hardback UK 15 Jan 2015; paperback UK 7 May 2015; paperback US 9 June 2015
Biography: My first novel is based is based on the real events surrounding the biggest hurricane ever to strike North America, in 1935 in the Florida Keys, which destroyed the town of Islamorada. A group of WWI veterans were caught up in the disaster, callously abandoned by the government. The book dramatizes their fate and that of the locals.
I was born in Tallahassee, FL in 1963 but the family moved to Tampa soon after. This is where I was raised and schooled until I left for Duke University in 1981. There were hurricanes most years, strong enough to send us scurrying for the safety of the bedroom closets, but nothing on the scale depicted in SUMMERTIME. I am happy to say that I’ve never experienced a natural disaster of that magnitude. A thirst for adventure brought me to Europe in 1987, first to France and then England.
Writing was always a part of my life, from my first story at the age of six, but I did not made any efforts to get published until my 40s. I never imagined that my first novel to be published would be set in Florida, the place which I left nearly 30 years ago. At age 51, I’m proof that it’s never too late to have your dreams come true. ‘Summertime’ is a Richard & Judy Summer Read selection for 2015. I was selected as one of Amazon UK’s Rising Stars of 2015, and nominated by the Reading Agency for Newcomer of the Year 2015.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vanessalafayewriter
Twitter handle: @vanessalafaye
Location: Marlborough, UK
Links to blog posts: see website
Contact: through my website
Writer Superpowers (specialist subjects): Florida history; WWI veterans; Labor Day hurricane; breast cancer; writing after cancer; being an American expat in England; historical fiction