Emily M. DeArdo






Tempest: Book One in the Tempest Series

NaNoWriMo winner 2015

Written: November 2015

status: first draft completed

Julie Spencer's mom died when she was five, leaving her at the hands of her alcoholic, abusive father, who either ignored Julie and her basic needs completely, or physically and verbally berated her. In her small Southern Ohio town, there's nowhere Julie can go to escape him, until one day he goes too far, and almost kills her. After his arrest, Julie is sent to live with her mother's cousin, Carol, who lives in the North Carolina island town of Tempest. Julie has a chance to start a new life here, and she's determined she will--and that she will never fall in love. 
Meeting handsome carousel barker Billy Barton, however, might change her mind. 

This book has had a long and winding road. It originally started out as an updated take on Carousel (the musical), because, although I like a lot about that show, I always wanted to know what lay behind Julie's seemingly inexplicable actions that set the plot in motion. However, as NaNo drew near, I didn't really like the idea anymore. It seemed stale and I couldn't figure out how to end the thing, since I didn't want to end it the way the original story did. 

But when I started imagining Julie as a teenager, who had a terrible home life....things started to click for me. And continued to click. I reached 50,000 words in 10 days.

Julie is a character who is very different from me, which hasn't been the case with my other female protagonists; those have a lot of me in them. Julie is a separate animal, but I love her for it, and she continually surprised me when I was writing this book.

As you probably noticed, this page is titled book one in the Tempest series. That's right. Tempest ends on a cliffhanger (another thing I didn't anticipate), so there will be at least one more book that will tell Julie and Billy's story. 

The book is told in first person narration from Julie's point of view. 

The novel is called Tempest for a few reasons: one, I was reading The Tempest when I needed a title; it's a good name for an island town, and a tempest is a big storm. Julie's life has been extremely stormy, and arriving in Tempest only temporarily changes that. She has to go through a lot of self-discovery during the course of this novel, with even more to come. 

Julie is also a Physics/Astronomy major at UNC (yes, such a major exists there, I checked), so I got to thrown in Big Bang Theory references, which was fun.