I managed to catch up with author Lori Power this week. She graciously agreed to answer five questions about her debut novel Storm of Passion.
1. I know that you grew up in a small fishing town in Nova Scotia and have to wonder how much of your book, Storms of Passion, is based on fact, or was created by your amazing imagination. In your book the MacLean family run an adventure sailing school where they teach vacationers how to sail. Do such holidays exist or did you invent them?
A lot of Storms of Passion is based on fact. The storm did exist. People did perish while others who were tossed out to the sea did survive. Their survival was based on the skills and tenacity of Coast Guard personnel. Who risked everything to save them. The fact that they do this every day is a marvel to me.
Storms of Passion took shape while I was on Prince Edward Island, where I spent a week in an excellent small community on the far Northern tip, I couldn’t even get cell coverage. The scenery, the sights, the smells were all from this small community. I sat on the red sand and watched sailing boats glide by and wished I could learn to master such a craft and feel the ocean air.
My knowledge of small town life came from my experiences growing up in such a town.
Learn to Sail Adventure vacations do exist on both coasts. There is also an excellent program for Grade 12 students to finish their final year at sea while learning the trade of sailing. Wouldn’t that be exciting?
2. Your hero, Tuck, is such a great character. He’s a computer whiz, a rescue swimmer with the coast guard, and a cute hunk. Are there really rescue swimmers with the coast guard? And if so, did you know any growing up?
Rescue swimmers are an integral part of the Coast Guard personnel. I had an opportunity while living in Prince George to meet and interview some rescue swimmers. Two things there: guys in uniform – wow. Guys in uniform with a fully toned body, complete with a six-pack underneath, clearly visible through their uniform – ouch!
3. I love Vivian, your heroine. She’s an intelligent, tall green-eyed beauty with just a touch of self-doubt. Where did the inspiration for Vivian come from?
My lifelong best friend from back home. I won’t say her name and embarrass her, but I am sure when she reads the story, she recognized herself.
4. When I read your book I was struck by the amount of nautical knowledge you possess. Did you learn this growing up or did you have to do a lot of research?
I did some basic research. My dad was a sailor for many years and has shared lots of stories. I am also fortunate my husband’s uncle, who was a sailor of a small masted boat, took me through some stories and adventures – near misses – he had at sea, sailing from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean, and events he experienced crossing the open Atlantic to Newfoundland.
5. The ferocious storm that threatens Vivian’s life, (I don’t want to give anything away here, but it was so gripping.) was brutal. Have you ever been at sea in a hurricane? I ask because your descriptions are so real.
The storm was a real event. All action from Vivian in the storm is strictly a figment of my imagination. Nova Scotia is constantly bombarded with storms jutting out as it does into the Atlantic, so it isn’t a stretch for me to ‘imagine’ what it would be like. Some events that Vivian goes through during the storm are based on events my Dad experienced at sea.