The Story Behind Sea Turtle Summer by Nancy Stewart

The Story Behind the Book is one of Literarily Speaking’s most popular features. Here we find out either the inspiration behind authors’ books or how they got published. Today’s guest is Nancy Stewart, author of Sea Turtle Summer (Guardian Angel Publishing).


Sea Turtle Summer came to me, not on a glorious beach with glimmering white sand, but in a stark utilitarian hospital room. Talk about being led by your muse. She had to work wonders with this one.

My husband was recovering from back surgery (happily, he’s fine now). I sat in his hospital room, net book on lap and waited for her to come calling. And she did, demanding another Bella and Britt book. About sea turtles.

So I began Sea Turtle Summer on a frigid February morning in St. Louis and was instantly transported to Clearwater Beach, where the weather was balmy and the beach was getting busy. A female Loggerhead sea turtle was heading back to the sea, but her nest was in trouble. Enter Bella and Britt, and the girls and I were off and running.

It’s a funny thing, inspiration. Sea Turtle Summer, I know, was a combination of my many early walks walks on Clearwater Beach, all the conversations about the plight of sea turtles and time on my hands that morning, willing my muse to conjure up a worthy story. She hardly ever fails.

Once it began, the book came quickly, and I was able to get the main story in place by the time my husband went home. Some books do that, I find. Some don’t. But whichever way they begin, the end game is the goal. Oh, that and something wonderful and magical in the pages between. Let’s hope my muse worked her magic in Sea Turtle Summer.

After having been both an elementary school teacher, a university professor of education and a consultant for New Options, Inc. in New York City, Nancy Stewart writes children’s books full time. She, her husband and three sons, lived in London for eight years, where she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge.

Her travels take her extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. Nancy is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.

Nancy is the author of the Bella and Britt picture book series, One Pelican at a Time, Sea Turtle Summer, Bella Saves the Beach and Mystery at Manatee Key. All are published by Guardian Angel Publishing. Pelican was nominated for a Global eBook Award and recently was awarded the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. Both books have been on the Amazon bestsellers list and Sea Turtle Summer appears on their Hot New Release and Most Wished for lists.

She was featured in the PBS Tampa (WEDU) series, Gulfwatch. It concerned the writing of One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill.
She and her family live in St. Louis and Tampa.

Nancy’s web and blog sites are:

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