Thursday, May 12, 2011

MMM: Jessi Kirby

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface. While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever. Published on May 3, 2011.

Behind the Book: Setting

Guest post by Jessi Kirby, author of Moonglass

I’m a total sucker for behind the scenes features on TV shows, movies, music, anything. I love to know where the inspiration for the finished products come from, what little bits of reality found their way into the the characters’ fictional worlds.

I’ve fielded a lot of questions lately about the setting of the novel, what inspired it, if it’s based on a real place...the answer to that last one is yes! Crystal Cove is a real State Park in California, and it’s near and dear to my heart, so I spent the afternoon out in the sunshine with my camera to bring you a visual tour of the beach that inspired so much of Moonglass.

We’ll start with the cottages that dot the beach. Many of them have been restored and you can actually rent them out, but my favorites, the ones I envisioned Tyler and Anna sneaking into, are the barely-standing, moment-in-time ones like these:

Next up, we have The Beachcomber Restaurant, where Anna meets her first friend, Ashley, and where you can order the best Macadamia Pancakes around:

Moving down the beach, you can find the tide pools where Anna is introduced to Tyler. This is also the rocky place I was envisioning for the last scene.

One of my most favorite scenes takes place at a bonfire, where a bunch of lifeguards perform the crazy stunt of jumping off of Ab Rock. This view is from up on the bluff, but if you look at the end of the cove, where the rock rises steep out of the water, that’s the place. I may or may not have seen people jump it before…

One of the last key places in Moonglass is the cottage next door to her. I can’t say much without being too spoilery, but this is it. An interesting bit of history: it’s actually the cottage used in the film Beaches, with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. Crystal Cove has a long history of movies being filmed on its shores. Hopefully Moonglass can carry it on!

And finally, this is a shot of the red piece of sea glass I was fortunate enough to find on an early morning run on my birthday this year. Talk about meant to be! I made it into a necklace that I wore for my launch party.

Thank you so much for having me Ashley—hope you enjoyed the tour of the Cove!

Thanks SO much for the awesome photo tour, Jessi! You really brought the book to life!

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  1. I just finished your book! I could not put it down! I grew up on the coast of NC near the southern end of the OuterBanks. I married a local. My daughter and I have beachcombed for seaglass for years. As an adult, I've moved where my marriage takes me. My daughter has found a way to live back home. She grew up and fell in love with a local boy. Thank you for the memories. It was like stepping back in time.

  2. I also wanted to add that just by coincidence, I happened to be wearing my red seaglass necklace when I began to read your book. I found myself sliding it up and down the chain several times. lol

  3. Ooh, these pictures are so pretty and make me want to head to the beach, right this minute. But I won't do that because I live in New England, where it is now raining, cold, and not a good day for the beach :(

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational landmarks, Jessi.

  4. Crystal Cove wow its amazing. i love to read about some type of beach setting because i feel that its a very romantic place and these pictures are awesome too

  5. I'm reading Moonglass right and I'm loving it so far!


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