It's a single title, standalone novel. It's set in the same Cub Creek environment as THE MEMORY OF BUTTERFLIES, THE WILDFLOWER HOUSE SERIES and CUB CREEK and LEAVING CUB CREEK. One ARC reader said it this way: "'In the heart of Virginia, where the forests hide secrets and the creeks run strong and deep' is a place called Cub Creek. A place that has meadows filled with colorful flowers and butterflies to chase, and dirt roads and Cub Creek to jump over and disappear into the woods. A living and rural place that draws the reader to the setting and the characters who have stories to tell. A place with light and darkness and as unique as the characters who live there.When I opened the beautiful cover of this book I stepped into the Cub Creek world and met the main character, Jaynie Highsmith. This is her story."
Why Cub Creek? The Cub Creek in these novels is located in Louisa County, Virginia. I grew up along a different creek a couple of counties away, but the woods, the creek and solitude was the same. The landscape as I knew it, along with those barefoot days of roaming freely while Mom tended the younger children, exists mostly in my memory now. But the real Cub Creek hasn't changed all that much.
So A LIGHT LAST SEEN is Jaynie Highsmith's story. Why Jaynie's story?
Last year I was sharing a memory with someone from a time when I was thirteen. It was a disquieting memory. One of those that stay with you forever, that your mind takes out from time to time and reconsiders as it tries to make sense of it, and seeks to understand why you, in that moment of being thirteen, reacted the way you did. Having spoken the memory aloud, the memory became the seed of an idea that grew into Jaynie's story. The story in the novel no longer resembles the actual event in my memory. It has become its own story - its own character - Jaynie Highsmith.
A LIGHT LAST SEEN releases tomorrow, Tuesday, February 11, 2010. It joins my family of novels. I'll celebrate its birthday tomorrow and then turn my focus onto the next book. The next story. And I'll look forward to the day when I can offer that to readers, too.