It was another full house of book lovers when FOLSOI hosted local author Cindy Horrell Ramsey at Barbee Library to discuss her latest novel, Trying Not to Drown, a heart-wrenching story about a family whose home is destroyed by flooding after Hurricane Florence. 

Although fiction, Cindy’s book was inspired by pictures she saw in the media and things she witnessed first-hand in 2018.  She shared these images with the audience through a Power Point presentation.  Although it was hard to revisit that devastation, the pictures were impressive, bringing to life the severity of damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure, as well as the displacement of families, pets and farm animals. 

Cindy said she used to live inland and had experienced flooding before her move to Oak Island.  She spoke of the dangerous conditions that arise after natural disasters, but she also highlighted the positive side of humanity that emerges at these times.  Cindy was overwhelmed at the “flood” of help from volunteer groups, neighbors, and total strangers.  She was motivated to help displaced flood victims of Florence and wrote her book in hopes of inspiring others into action.

In response to a question from the audience, Cindy said her novels are inspired by real events and her characters come to life as she writes.  She likes to “get it all down on paper and then set it aside for a while” (sometimes years!) before coming back to edit and complete her books.

Cindy has generously donated some of the profits from her book sales to the Oak Island Beach Preservation Society and was happy to share the stage with her friend, Dr. Roseanne Fortner, chair of the Oak Island Beach Preservation Society, Inc. (BPSI).  Dr. Fortner gave a short talk about all the terrific work this nonprofit does to protect and preserve our shoreline. This dedicated group of volunteers keeps our beaches clean; helps maintain the dunes; builds bike racks and dog poo bag holders for beach access points; erects informational signs at the point; and installs handicapped mats at several of the beach accesses.  BPSI also runs programs to educate people on simple measures we can all take, such as participating in “flash” trash pick-ups – to care for our coastal environment.  

Cindy Horrell Ramsey’s book, Trying Not to Drown, is available through Amazon and local booksellers.

To learn more about BPSI and to participate in their current fundraiser – a Shibumi shade raffle – look them up on Facebook or online at