Girls Write Out
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When I was in Nashville last month, I had the BEST brainstorming session with the team. Eric Mullett, my marketing director, suggested we list the things that are important in my stories, and Ami had asked me what all my books had in common. As we talked it out, I realized all my heroines are overcomers. They are strong and don't let their past keep them from realizing the potential God has put in them. The team suggested a beach series, and I jumped on the idea.

It's called Hope Beach and it's going to be set along the ocean in North Carolina. I've been trying to find the right prototype for a small beach inn to serve as my inspiration, but I'm having trouble finding what I have in mind.

I want something quaint and old world looking, not a modern block building. It needs to make you feel you want to stay a while when you see it. I'd like to actually be old too, not just look old. So if it were built at the turn of the century, that would be perfect. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! And if there is anything you love about the beach, list it here so I can use it for beach ambiance. :) This one is called Inn On The Beach and it's in Florida. Cute, isn't it?

Just a sneak peak at what I'm working on. When we were in St.Croix, there was a Harbor Cam. I called my parents to have them go to the site so they could see us. And I got to thinking, what if someone saw something sinister? In this case, my main character sees her sister being abducted. The hero runs a dive shop down the beach (I think. Still noodling.) and my heroine turns to him for help. The theme is about greed vs generosity.

I have such clarity in my head about the story, and it's all because my team helped me see my mission. Love that!

So advise away. If you've stayed somewhere charming and can find the URL for me, that would be awesome but if you don't have time, just tell me the name and where it's at and I'll find it myself. Also, if you've had a sudden revelation of your purpose yourself, tell us. I love to hear stories like that!

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:33 AM  
  Comments (14)
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At 9:17 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Cape May, New Jersey has a lot of little inn-type places. It's a great little town and I'm sure if you do a google image search you could find a perfect inn for a setting.

Beach ambiance? For me it's the broken shells along the shore, dolphins jumping along the waves, boats crossing the horizon, and holding hands with the one you love while taking it all in.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh yes, Cape May! I love that area. I didn't think about inns there though. I will go look. Thanks!

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Jaime Wright said...

I don't know if this helps because it's not NC, BUT Door County here in Wisconsin has some of the BEST nautical-like B&Bs in old Victorian homes. I always want to go treasure hunting in the hidden passageways I KNOW must be in them! :)

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Colleen, you're well acquainted with Victorian homes, and a painted lady in soft beach colors would be pretty. Myself, I'd love a modern wood and glass structure set by itself away from any other buildings, so I could sit and look out at the ocean all day. All I remember about the east coast was the sun coming up at 5 in the morning through the window, and I couldn't sleep past that.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Valerie said...

Beaufort (BOfort) South Carolina is magnificent. Its antebellum homes are a sight to see and the waterfront is just lovely. It's a small, picturesque town.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

Hi Colleen! I don't live in NC but have been to the outer banks many times and my brother is a marine stationed in Jacksonville, NC. I think OBX would be a great setting however I think there are more new inns there. Trying to think of places I've been... This summer visiting my bro we stayed in Morehead city nc. We rented a house but it was older and very much like a cottage in new England. There were a lot houses like that in Morehead city. They have basically one highway and that's about it. All you have is the beach and a few shops. 

Oh gosh the outerbanks are so fun, there is lots of historic places with things like the Wright Brothers memorial stuff. And jockey Ridge the largest sand dunes on the east coast- super fun to run up & down!!

You could also research Nicholas Sparks books. All of his are set in NC, he based Nights in Rodnathe on a house in Rodanthe. He lives in New Bern which is an old town and for the life of me can't figure out why he likes living there. We went on a trip there and were bored out of our mind- most exciting thing- coca cola plant!

Wilmington is also more historic, we drove through there with my bro since he's close to there and there is a lot of turn of the century stuff in downtown Wilmington as well as an old battleship but i forget the name of it.

Youre making me miss OBX :( there's also the wild horses on Corolla island!

If I remember anything else I'll let you know!

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

Also check out Roanoke Island mystery & Dare county. When I was little my family went there and I was soo fascinated.

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never been to North Carolina but I absolutely love the beach!! My favorite thing about the beach is the constant warm breeze. Since a breeze closes in tight and wraps around you; I compare it to a hug from God. =)

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

There's also a lot of lighthouses on the NC coast, like Cape Hatteras and ocracoke (sp?)

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

GREAT suggestions, friends! researching now. :)

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Kim said...


I think to research it completely you need to go to these wonderful places and scope out the inns. I think you need to bring truffles, coffee and a new book to read-oh and some shopping and sightseeing money too. If you need a partner in crime maybe one of the other Girl's Write Out ladies will go with you-or make it a romantic getaway with your honey. If none of those works out, I will volunteer to go with you. I am sure many of your devoted readers would :-)

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Tonya, Cape Fear is the other area I'm thinking about!

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

Cape Fear would be great! I don't know if I've ever stayed there but I'm pretty sure ive been to the lighthouse ( my grandparents love lighthouses) cape fear is close to wilmington. I can see a turn of the century inn on Cape Fear. Last summer we drove through downtown Wilmington with my brother and it had a lot of classic southern places with cobblestone streets and big porches!

Something else fun about the area, I'm assuming it's the whole coast, but I've only been to the jockey ridge sand dunes one is the sound. In between the outerbanks & NC mainland is a few miles of water that is just calm, you can walk all the way through it and the water only comes up to you knees!

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Tammy Gillmore said...

First a sidenote, here in Arkansas, we are on Spring Break...have read four of your novels so far...they have helped my mind relax...thanks!

I spent four days with my daughter's sixth grade on Dauphin Island last October, and besides the fun times spent there watching the kids play in the sand listening to the water hitting the beach at night,rocking me to sleep, I most enjoyed the long walks. This beach, mostly isolated during that time of the year, reminded me quickly of how small I am and how big and powerful God is.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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