Monday, December 30, 2013

Surf's Up

Dropping down the barrel
Beginnings should be memorable, epic, legendary. Are you stoked by these epic surfing photos? A storm developing among the cerulean waves adds to the adrenaline rush I gave my protagonist in the opening scene of my new novel Free Runner.

Air time
The story progresses from SoCal to London. In my last blog entry, I presented an argument for Chicago's similarities to London. Now, I direct your attention to Southern California. The raw beauty of the ocean evokes emotions in the caverns of my memories. When I was in junior high, my family moved from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast of Florida. I stood in the knee deep water as if under a magical spell, watching the surfers in the ocean. My Main Character's first love is surfing. Yes, even at the tender age of fourteen, he can participate in the surfing circuit and dreams of attaining pro-status someday. 

The surfer's guide to correct surf jargon can be found in the Riptionary at I posted this on twitter once. I cracked myself up for days. I find surf lingo addictive and fun, especially when used in conversations with my teenage sons. The surfer rides the barrel or the tube with the crest over his head, the high point of a wave. His board is attached to his ankle or calf with a special tubing called a leash. This keeps the surfer and the board connected so they don't get lost at sea.

"The World's 50 Best Surf Spots" is featured on The Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii--the most dangerous surf locale in the world--sits at the number one slot followed by Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa; Bali, Indonesia; and the Gold Coast, Australia. Number 5 on the list is California. They (meaning some crazy dude out in the middle of the ocean) calculated one wave to be over 25 meters. That's approximately 82 feet. They (the experts) recommend you bring two things with you: a jet ski (to reach those gnarly waves) and life insurance (in case you don't). If any of those spots are out of your reach or out of your budget, you can always try the Maldives or Cloud Nine at Siargao Island in the Philippines. Cloud Nine with its jagged coral covering the shallow waters seems to indicate something different--the amount of trips to the ER, the amount of staples in your head after a visit, or maybe the amount of broken bones a surfer may acquire.

The first chapter of my book transports the reader straight to the MC's world: surfing, sand and endless sun. Forced to exchange his SoCal life for landlocked London, he leaves everything behind and must embark on a journey that will change him forever. I follow Surfing Magazine, Surfing Life and a few SoCal surfers on Instagram for my daily inspiration. Go catch a gnarly tube, avoid Cloud Nine, and always Hang Ten. I know you're anxious to learn how this surfer enters the world of free running and parkour in my debut novel, but you don't have to wait long. Mark your calendars for January 15th--FREE RUNNER's release date.
#amwriting #research #surfing #freerunning #debut #novel #MondayBlogs

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