“First there was Irma. Then came Maria.” So begins the back cover description of Second Wind. In September of 2017 two colossal hurricanes, Irma and Maria, hit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico just 10 days apart. Local author, Marilinne Cooper, has set her latest novel, Second Wind, on the island of Culebra, against the backdrop of the disastrous aftermath of these infamous Caribbean storms.
Cooper says she was inspired by a news story she read about inmates escaping from a prison after Hurricane Irma destroyed Tortola in the BVIs. “A few convicts were never recaptured and the idea sparked my imagination for a plot line involving a main character who has vanished. Real life is always what inspires my fiction,” she said.
In the winter following the hurricanes, Cooper lived on Culebra and learned firsthand what happens when infrastructure, communications and natural resources are impacted after a disaster.
Cooper, a longtime Bethlehem resident, is the author of 10 independently published mystery novels for which she singlehandedly does all of the layout and formatting as well as the marketing and promotion. “It’s a lifestyle, not a living,” she always says. “Marketing and managing my books is as big a job as writing them. Uncomfortable as it may be, you have to get out there and sell yourself.”
Cooper’s newest novel will be available starting this week at North Country farmers markets: Thursdays in Gorham, Saturdays in Lancaster and Sundays in Littleton. Her books are also available at the Little Village Toy and Bookstore, Local Works Marketplace and improbably at a local Littleton hairdresser, Salon del Rio.
To learn more about Cooper and her novels, as well as upcoming readings and events, visit www.marilinnecooper.com.