By Taylor Boyd
Nancy Naigle, a USA bestselling author and recent immigrant to Patrick County, published her most recent novel, “The Shell Collector”, on May 11.
The novel is set on a fictional town called Whelk’s Island off the coast of North Carolina, Naigle said.
“It’s a story about a woman who has lost her husband, and she and her children are trying to get back up on their feet and they happen along a woman, who is an older widow named Maeve, who lives on Whelk’s Island and grew up there,” she added.
Naigle said the two women become close friends and kind of rescue each another.
“Maeve is kind of the story behind the legend that people keep finding these mysterious shells along the shore, and they seem to land right in people’s hands at the right time. So that’s kind of Maeve’s gift is to create these inscribed shells,” she said.
Naigle, who is also the author of the Adams Grove novels and the Seasoned Southern Sleuths, said this novel is special to her.
“I lost my husband in 2014 to a short battle with cancer, and this was a story that my cousin had shared with me before I had lost my husband,” she said. “There was a friend of our family who lived on the Outer Banks and would walk up and down the beach all the time. She was walking the beach with something kind of heavy on her heart and she picked up a shell in the surf. When she reached down to pick it up, it had a scripture written in it.
Naigle said she “thought that was just the neatest story, and it wasn’t even only that one shell. About a year later, she’d been walking along the beach and found another shell upon a dune, and over a six-or-seven-year period, she’d found several shells and nobody else ever found any. So, she kind of giggled when she talked about them and said they were special shells from the angels by the sea.”
After she lost her husband, Naigle said she could have used a bucket or so of those shells to get through that first year.
“So, the story about a woman who created those kinds of messages in shells just kind of started coming to me,” she said.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that Naigle said that she felt strong enough to write the story about grief and dealing with those kinds of changes in your life.
“But The Shell Collector just kind of came to me, and hung on me, and so I was really excited to finally get the story out to the world,” she said, and added that The Shell Collector is more inspirational than her other works.
“All my other stories are small town love stories, and most of them are very clean reads. This one is too, but this one, I think, has a lot more faith forward in the story. The Christion world-view is definitely right there at your hands, which is something that I haven’t really displayed as much in my previous writings,” she said.
“I think it’s just a very special story that will hopefully bring some hope and remainders of unlikely friends that could be right there in front of you to help you get through the next phase of your life,” Naigle added.
Her seventh Hallmark Movie, Sand Dollar Cove, will premiere on the Hallmark channel on June 26, and three more of her books are scheduled to be released in 2022.
The Shell Collector is available at Barnes & Noble, Target, and Amazon. For more information on Naigle and her books, visit www.nancynaigle.com.
Nancy Naigle, a bestselling author, said her latest book, “The Shell Collector,” displays a Christian world-view that is not apparent in her other works.