Childhood visits to the Coastside and the small-town ambiance of Pescadero and Half Moon Bay lingered in memory for San Ramon resident Amie Irene Winters.
Those memories play a role in that Winters set her first novel in a community patterned after Half Moon Bay.
“It was very natural, very special for me. As an adult, I like to go back to those places,” said Winters recently by phone. “It really runs in my veins.”
“Strange Luck” is self-published by the author and available at 210 pages online and at Bay Book Company and Ink Spell Books locally.
Described by Winters as a young-adult novel that is a fantasy story with a little mystery, “Strange Luck” is set in the fictitious town of Sea Salt. The story follows a 17-year-old protagonist who, on a quest to save her ailing father, stumbles into a strange and dark world.
It’s a world that is made up of different kinds of landscapes, such as desert or mountain terrains right next to a beach like those in Half Moon Bay. And it is a world built on stolen memories.
“Think ‘The Neverending Story’ meets ‘The Maze Runner,’” wrote Winters in an email.
The setting grew out of Winters’ childhood excursions. “Living in California exposed me to the magic of nature,” she said.
As an adult, Winters earned a master’s degree in environmental leadership from Naropa University and worked in corporate communications, doing writing and editing. This is her first foray into fiction.
“I love writing,” she said simply. “Fiction is definitely a passion of mine. I definitely hope to put more books out there.”