Ironically, Cathryn Grant’s second novel of the Haunted Ship Trilogy, which was just released, is titled, Slipping Away From the Beach. Set in 1967, the summer of love, the novel tells the story of Mary Carmichael’s quest to re-capture her youth and her struggle with the entity that lies deep within the Concrete Ship. She alone knows its secrets.
When asked about this unique story idea, Cathryn said, “After moving to Aptos in 2014, I spent every morning walking on the beach. I passed the Concrete Ship and mourned its decaying condition. The more time I spent near the ‘Cement Boat’, the more it haunted me. After a while, I focused on the two openings in the bow and wondered what it was like inside, what creepy things lurked in all the open cavities below the water.”
“Since I’m a fiction writer who has dabbled in ghost stories, I started thinking it was a perfect setting for a ghost story – decaying, abandoned, a place with a history.”
“It would have to be a story that showed the ship as she is today. And of course, it would have to include her glory days when she was pulled into the bay, a brand new ship never used for her intended purpose.”
“As the story unfolded in my mind, I thought of a child watching the ship towed to the pier and an old woman still living near the decaying ship in the twenty-first century.“
“Ever helpful, my husband decided to make my brain twist in knots with the suggestion I should start in the present and go backwards through time. It took some detailed planning to figure out how I would conceal parts of the story to make all three novels suspenseful. Mix in my fascination with 1967 – the summer of love – and I ended up with three novels.”
The first book of the trilogy, Alone On the Beach, was released October 2015 and takes place in 2011. Both novels are available at Bookshop Santa Cruz and online in e-book and paperback.
The third novel of the trilogy, Haunting the Beach, will be released in May 2016. Cathryn is also the author of seven Suburban Noir novels and the Madison Keith Ghost Story series. Her short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen mystery magazines.