The novels of Susan Wilson are rich with stirring conflict and deeply felt emotion. "An empathetic storyteller" (Publishers Weekly), she delves into the complexities of the human heart to seek the truest meaning of love. Cameo Lake Putting herself first doesn't come easy to Cleo Grayson McCarthy. A loving wife, doting mother, and dutiful daughter-in-law, she has always done her writing on the side, in hours stolen from her "real" life. Now, desperate for the solitude she needs to finish her latest novel, she convinces her husband that she must spend the summer at her best fiend's rustic cottage at Cameo Lake in New Hampshire, out of reach of cell phones and the demands of family and friends. Even as she immerses herself in her work, Cleo can't help but be aware of the man who lives across the lake. A reclusive composer, Ben Turner is struggling to come to terms with his wife's accident. An outcast, he is regarded with suspicion by the lake community, even accused by some of harming his wife. But at night, Cleo hears his music drifting across the water, and senses she has found a kindred spirit. As they meet time and again -- often on the raft anchored in the middle of Cameo Lake -- Cleo and Ben begin a satifying friendship suprising in its intimacy and depth. And when a painful betrayal leaves Cleo stunned and adrift, she finds unexpected comfort and absolution in Ben's arms. But love is never simple, and before Cleo can determine whether to fight for her marriage or seek a future with Ben, she must first know her own heart, and admit truths ling left unsaid. Even as Cleo struggles to come to terms with her own truths, Ben must find a way to face his. An unforgettable take of the many faces of love, Cameo Lake is Susan WIilson at her very finest.
From the time I was a little girl, the word "writer" held a special significance to me. I loved the word. I loved the idea of making up stories. When I was about twelve, I bought a used Olivetti manual typewriter from a little hole in the wall office machine place in Middletown, CT called Peter's Typewriters. It weighed about twenty pounds and was probably thirty years old. I pounded out the worst kind of adolescent drivel, imposing my imaginary self on television heroes of the time: Bonanza, Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Star Trek. Those are my earliest memories of my secret life of writing. For reasons I cannot really fathom, I never pursued writing as a vocation. Although I majored in English, I didn't focus on writing and it wasn't really until I was first married that I hauled out my old Olivetti and began to thump away at my first novel. This was, as I recall, an amorphous thinly plotted excercise in putting sentences together and has mercifully disappeared in some move or another. I didn't try anything more adventurous than some short stories and a lot of newsletters for various things I belonged to until we moved to Martha's Vineyard and I bought my first computer. My little "Collegiate 2" IBM computer was about as advanced as the Olivetti was in its heyday but it got me writing again and this time with some inner determination that I was going to succeed at this avocation. I tapped out two novels on this machine with its fussy little printer. Like the first one, these were wonderful absorbing exercises in learning how to write. What happened then is the stuff of day time soap opera. Writing is a highly personal activity and for all of my life I'd kept it secret from everyone but my husband, who, at the time, called what I did nights after the kids went to bed, my "typing." Until, quite by accident, I discovered that here on the Vineyard nearly everyone has some avocation in the arts. Much to my delight, I discovered a fellow closet-writer in the mom of my kids' best friends. For the very first time in my life I could share the struggle with another person. I know now that writers' groups are a dime a dozen and I highly recommend the experience, but with my friend Carole, a serendipitious introduction to a "real writer", Holly Nadler, resulted in my association with my agent. Holly read a bit of my "novel" and liked what she read, suggested I might use her name and write to her former agent. I did and the rest, as they say, is history. Not that it was an overnight success. The novel I'd shown Holly never even got sent to Andrea. But a third, shorter, more evolved work was what eventually grew into Beauty with the guidance of Andrea and her associates at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. The moral of the story: keep at it. Keep writing the bad novels to learn how to write the good ones. And, yes, it does help to know someone. Andrea might have liked my work, but the path was oiled by the introduction Holly Nadler provided. Hawke's Cove is my second published novel, although there is a "second" second novel in a drawer, keeping good company with the other "first" novels.