According to a recent article in Esquire Magazine, the business of book publishing is stronger than ever, with the average adult American reading 17 books in 2011. Perhaps part of the growth in readers stems from the flurry of books now being published - about 200,000 in the US each year.
Numerous local writers have also been a part of that trend, with Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild member Fran Hasson joining in with her first novel, "Allawe," just released by AuthorHouse books.
Hasson, who joined the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild in 2010, was a regular attendee at the weekly RBWG Free Writes! when the idea for Allawe struck her. The Free Write facilitator, Frank Minni, had found a wooden box of ashes on the beach near Bethany and after taking it to local authorities to see what needed to be done with it (nothing), he brought it to the Free Write to be used as a writing prompt. The rest is, as they say, history: "Allawe" begins with a mysterious box of ashes washing up onto the beach in Fenwick.
While "Allawe" is filled with references to local attractions in Fenwick and Ocean City, Md., which makes it a great read for locals, the heroine in Hasson’s novel eventually traces the box to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, where Hasson lived for many years. There the heroine of the story unwittingly becomes involved in a mystery - for the ashes belong to a murdered man - and this leads her deep into ancient Obeah, or black magic, practices and beliefs.
Although "Allawe" is Hasson’s first novel, which she wrote in the course of a year, honing the details of plot and character in a novel class offered by the guild, it is by no means her last. After a book tour in St. Croix, this December, Hasson plans to get to work on a sequel.
For more information about Hasson, or information about purchasing her book, which is available on Amazon.com, and in Browseabout Books, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild, email email@example.com or go to www.rehobothbeachwritersguild.com.