Surfer girl, film producer, and podcast host Laurel Senick debuted her recent book release, Foam, a thriller set in Rincon, Puerto Rico.  Senick cleverly created a story arch for her presentation, using titles for each stage of her writing journey, such as The Inciting Incident, The Quest, Romantic Interlude, etc.

After taking a step away from her career in the glamorous-yet-shallow film industry, Senick believes that a moment of divine intervention led to her becoming first a surfer, then a documentary filmmaker, and eventually an author. 

She became hooked on surfing after impulsively purchasing a used wet suit, which it turns out belonged to a legendary female surfer.  Senick hit the waves in Wilmington and went on to produce an award-winning documentary about the Wrightsville Beach surf scene. Her success led her to Rincon, a surfers’ paradise in Puerto Rico. Senick and her husband purchased and renovated a home there, where they now run surfing and writing retreats.

Senick said she wrote Foam because she was frustrated by the lack of female characters in surfer stories.  Her lack of writing experience was a big challenge, she told us, but one she faced head on with the same grit and determination she uses to face the big waves.

Our second author, Cameron Kent, a well-known former news anchor from Winston-Salem, has a strong following of readers in NC.  Attendees at Barbee’s MTA were particularly excited to hear about his latest book, The Oak Island Book Club, about two lost souls who connect through their shared love reading.

Kent told the crowd that he loves doing research for his novels, and spent a lot of time in Oak Island and Southport to create a true sense of place for his book.  Kent also loves inventing nuanced characters.  He confessed that he becomes close to many of the characters he creates, and even cries if he must kill them off!

Kent credited his mother for his love of reading, his father for his sense of humor, and his seventh grade teacher for his writing career.  He relayed a funny story about a writing assignment in seventh grade, where students were instructed to write about what they wanted to be when they grew up. 
Kent’s essay, “A Bump on a Log,” was the best 7th grade essay his teacher said she had ever read!  That moment of affirmation started Kent on a path toward creative writing. His advice to prospective writers?  “Write for yourself.”