I’d meant The Four Ms. Bradwells to be set primarily at the University of Michigan Law School—I’d simply been looking for somewhere my characters might rest their present-story heads while I explored their past—when I came upon Tom Horton’s An Island Out of Time. Through it, I became enchanted with Smith Island, a world that developed untethered to the mainland, where even the way people speak, in British-leaning accents with improbable preposition choices, is unique. A visit to Smith Island in October of 2009 added immeasurably to the fictional Cook Island in my book. Susan, my bed & breakfast host, leant me boots to wade through the bay as it lapped against the sun porch after an amazing storm, and Tom Horton was kind enough to take me on a black-night boat ride I doubt I will ever forget. I've included my own photos from Smith below; for more, take a look at these photo essays.
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