Friday, March 25, 2011

Alaska--Adventure of a Lifetime

Alaska. Just the name of the state stirs imagesof wilderness, vast mountains, wildlife everywhere,and stunning scenery. I've always wanted to go there. And last April, I got to do just that. I'd signed mother-daughter writing team, Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouseto do asuspense series for B&H PublishingGroup. The setting of theseries? Alaska, where they'd lived for a number of years. So when they asked me to accompany them on their research trip, I was happy to say yes.

Well, the first book in that series has just hit the stores!
No Safe Haven is a marvelous debut novel for these two writers. And it's a landmark event, because
Kayla is the youngest novelist ever to sign a contract with a royalty paying publisher! Very impressive.

So to celebrate the release of their first book together, I thought I'd share some of that research trip.

My buddy and fellow editor, Julee Schwarzburg, went along as well. She and I flew from Oregon together. When Julee and I arrived, we knew we were in Alaska because there was a polar bear at the airport!
Okay, it was stuffed, but still!

We met Kimberley,

and Josh Woodhouse

at the airport in Fairbanks. Outside it was rainy and overcast; but inside our vehicle warmth and excitement radiated. I told everyone I had two goals: to see a real moose and the Northern Lights. Hey, it was Alaska, right?

We started driving south. Any mountains on the horizon were covered up by the clouds. I told Kim I hoped it wasn't like the first few times I visited my younger brother in Seattle. My bro kept telling me Mt. Rainier was out there and that it was beautiful. All I ever saw was clouds. No mountain. I was almost convinced the mountain was a myth perpetrated for tourists. Of course, then came the day I finally saw it, and yes, it was gorgeous.

Kim promised there were lots of mountains out there, and they were stunning, though I only caught glimpses the whole drive to Seward. Even so, we had a wonderful time talking,
brainstorming, taking pictures, and generally having fun. You know you've clicked with people when you can ride in a car for hours and not be bored (or irritated). Kayla and Josh were great traveling companions. They get along so well together, and the love and respect between them and their mom
reminded me of my own childhood and the trips we took as a family. It was a joy to be part of the Woodhouse family dynamic, even for a short time.
Finally, after several hours on the road, we reached our destination: a log cabin just outside of Seward, Alaska. I wasn't sure what to expect--I mean, a log cabin in Alaska could be pretty...rustic--but this place
was wonderful--warm and inviting.

Just like the fellowship we all enjoyed.

As I crawled into bed that night, I knew the adventure had just begun.

So stay tuned for more memories and pix!


Ronie Kendig said...

NO SAFE HAVEN TOTALLY RAWKS!!! And so does the Woodhouse family...and Julee...and that zany/amazing lady, Karen. :-D

Thanks for sharing the pictures!!I am insanely jealous. :-D

Anonymous said...

Awesome!! I'm reading that book right now!

Michelle V

Diane Marie Shaw said...

I bought their book on Saturday. I haven't started it yet but I am looking forward to a good read.
I love the pictures you have shared. The log cabin looks beautiful.