Author Recalls Hurricane Charley One Year Later

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Â?In my novel the hurricane comes ashore around Ft. Myers and exits the state at Daytona Beach. So try to imagine my shock and disbelief watching CharleyÂ?s approach. I was stunned by the similarities. This was my storm!Â?

When Sarah Mankowski set out to write Wind Scarred, she never suspected that events in her novel were about to become a little too real.

“I wanted to write an entertaining tale of passion and intrigue, flavored with orange juice,” Mankowski says. “While the little town at the heart of the story has similarities to places drawn from fond memories of growing up in Polk County Florida, the characters and events are fictitious.”

Set during the heated political summer of 2004, while the local congressman is running for reelection, Wind Scarred is a story of scandalous romance and family secrets.

“As my Mama says, ‘not a book to share with her Sunday school class,’” Mankowski admits. The final third of the story takes place during a hurricane modeled after Donna, which came through Central Florida in 1960. “I was born in Lake Wales; my earliest memory is that event. In my novel the hurricane comes ashore around Ft. Myers and exits the state at Daytona Beach. So try to imagine my shock and disbelief watching Charley’s approach. I was stunned by the similarities. This was my storm! Unfortunately, our storms kept coming. If I hadn’t been well into rewrites by the time Frances and Jeanne dropped by for a visit, ain’t no way I woulda written a hurricane story from scratch. By then I was reluctant to admit that I was writing about a hurricane. Heck, I would tell folks that my novel was about citrus canker or politics.”

With a degree in horticulture and a passion for growing citrus, Wind Scarred seemed obvious territory for Mankowski. “My family has worked in the citrus industry for generations, everything from grove work to packing and sectioning to selling wholesale. I have orange juice in my veins. While I wanted to write about characters that understood and loved the groves, I never imagined that three hurricanes were about to devastate the communities that inspired the story.”

Wind Scarred, (ISBN 1-59790-026-5), 240 pages, $11.95, is available from Fallen Palm Press. Media Kits may be downloaded from http://www.fallenpalm.com.

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