A little about the book..
Five simple words: That’s all it takes to change the course of 18-year-old Josie Graham’s life in the summer of 1989.
Josie is a musical prodigy: She can sing, play guitar and is a natural on the piano. Instead of spending her last summer before college traveling the country with her rock star father, she’s made a last minute decision to spend it working at her Aunt Bernie’s inn, in Ambler’s Fork, North Carolina. But what could have turned her life-long passion for music into a hatred for an industry she’s worked so hard to get into?
Her aunt’s inn seems like the perfect place to escape, to clear her head and figure things out, but on her first day there, she almost drowns before Chic Hobbs saves her.
Chic wants nothing more in life than to leave Ambler’s Fork and his sordid past behind—at least not until that day Josie Graham swims into his life. The problem is, Chic’s got a secret. It’s a secret he’s keeping from Josie, and he’s worried if it gets out, it’ll ruin everything, and she’ll judge him for his past mistakes the way everyone else in town has.
Josie is carrying a burden of her own. One that made her run to Ambler’s Fork – away from her family and everything she’s ever known.
Chic saved Josie once. Can he save her again? Or will Josie rescue him this time?
A little about the characters..
Guest post by the author
What inspired you to write It Started With A Whisper?
When I’m not writing, I work full-time as a high school guidance counselor. When people hear I work with high school students, their usual response is (along with a grimace), “I’m sorry, or that must be tough.” I don’t understand the negativity because I love working with people this age. They’re inspirational. It’s refreshing to work with idealists who are at the beginning of their journey in life. There’s a sense of urgency, excitement, and anticipation. It’s exciting to witness.
I try to learn from my students – they have a lot to offer the world, and learning from others means being engaged and listening. It means having in-depth discussions. It means communicating. I’ll often get into lengthy discussions with my students about their hopes, dreams, their lives. And these kind of discussions can sometimes inspire me.
Two students provided me with inspiration when I wrote It Started With A Whisper. Julia, one of my former students, told me she had spent her summer break working at her aunt’s inn in North Carolina. This prompted me to ask, “And that’s when you met Logan, the kayak instructor, right?”
Julia laughed, because strangely enough, there was a cute local boy who worked on the adjacent property (he wasn’t a kayak instructor and his name wasn’t Logan, however). I proceeded to finish the rest of my made-up story, concocting a summer romance between her and Logan, among other adventures that never happened.
The story I’d created that day sat on a shelf (a dusty shelf inside my head) for a long time (two whole years, matter of fact). Then my husband and I stayed at an inn in the Virginia mountains. I’m a people watcher, and this was the perfect place to observe – from the local musicians to the waiters and waitresses, it was thriving with tons of fuel to light my creative fire!
So, I started writing It Started With A Whisper, basing it on that one conversation with Julia. But Julia wasn’t the only student who provided inspiration for this story. Kevin, another one of my students, is Filipino and had mentioned (on more than one occasion) that I should write a story about him. Even though I didn’t base the character of Chic Hobbs on Kevin, I decided to make Chic half-Filipino, just like Kevin because I wanted to represent what America is: a melting pot.
I always envisioned this story taking place in the 1980s because I wanted it to be set at a time before cell phones, the internet, and technology. It’s the simplicity of that time that I feel ties so perfectly to the story.
Music is also an integral part of the story. I played piano as a child, and have always wished I could play well, not just be able to play. But not everyone is born with the gift of music. I guess I made Josie and Chic musically gifted because I wanted to live vicariously through them. I love music and have a deep appreciation for it, so it was fun writing my passion through Chic and Josie. Their backgrounds are so vastly different, yet they share their passion for music and their musical gifts in common. I knew it would be their link throughout the story.
Lastly, and most importantly, my husband inspired me as I wrote It Started With A Whisper. Actually, he’s inspired me with every book I’ve written. He is a creative guru and often provides great feedback, which always makes the story even better.
About the author
Shannon McCrimmon was born and raised in Central Florida. She attended Rollins College and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling. In 2008, she moved to the upstate of South Carolina. It was the move that inspired her to write her first novel. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and toy poodle. She’d love to hear from you! Connect with her at shannonmccrimmon.com