Thank you so much Alison, for having me here today. It is both a pleasure and honor to be a guest on your blog!
There was always a part of me that loved the Jersey Shore. As a young child living in Brooklyn, nothing would fill me with more excitement than my father announcing we were going to spend the day at Seaside Heights. And it would be the entire day. We’d start our trek early, taking the forever long drive down the Garden State Parkway. Once we arrived, we spend the next hour or two searching for a parking spot. Okay, it wasn’t that long, but at eight, it felt like it.
We’d hit the beach, bake in the sun for a bit, cool off in the water, and then the fun would begin, at least my fun. After hours of anticipation we’d start to explore the boardwalk, rides, games, food; a never-ending world of awe and wonder. During my sweet sixteen party, my father told me he bought a summer house in Point Pleasant. No it wasn’t my birthday gift. And the house wasn’t a summer type of house. It was a beautiful house on the Inter Coastal Canal in a cosy year round neighborhood.
For the next decade my family and I shared special memories I will cherish for the rest of my life at my father’s house in Point Pleasant. Not just my immediate family, but my extended family and friends as well. We’d gather together, sometimes twenty or thirty of us, for the weekend. Ridiculous races with floats and noodles in the pool, volleyball games and evenings at the boardwalk only touch the surface of good times we shared. This was my favorite place to be. And just happens to be where Jenna Kingsley (the main character of Heart Waves) lives.
I never really thought about where Heart Waves would take place, it just naturally unfolded in my father’s community, looking out toward the Loveland Bridge. Many summer nights, I’d walk to the little community beach and talk to a friend while sitting on the swings. This became Jenna’s sanctuary. And how can I write a book about living here and leave out the most popular attraction of all, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk? One of the scenes I had the most fun writing was the boardwalk scene where Jenna unexpectedly is left alone and sees Reece with another girl.
For those of you who live in this part of New Jersey, I hope I’ve done justice to the wonderful community you embody. For those of you who don’t live here, I hope you get a taste of what it’s really like to live at the real Jersey Shore.
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Thanks so much for visiting, Danielle! I hope to entice you back soon.