The Goddess of the Sea
During COVID I moved out of the city to my home in Barnes Landing and finished writing my first novel, The Goddess of the Sea.
On my daily walks along Gardiner’s Bay, I imagined my young heroine Thea Bassett, a 15th-generation Bonacker, walking alongside me, struggling to establish her identity in a male-centric clan of Baymen. As I absorbed the beauty of the sea, watching fishermen working their nets on misty mornings, like they’ve done for the past 400 years, I thought about the Baymen’s battle to sustain their seagoing culture and lifestyle in the midst of rapid gentrification. The plotline for Thea’s heroine’s journey evolved during these walks.
The Goddess of the Sea is a retelling of Plato’s Atlantis myth, a cautionary tale of greed set on the East End of Long Island where tensions between seafaring locals and their wealthy neighbors come to a head, altering one family’s history and future forever.
Growing up in a family of Baymen, Thea Bassett rebels against her cloistered clan’s insular traditions, wanting more from life than running the family farmstand and raising a bunch of kids. Propelled by visions of a mysterious underwater kingdom, she pursues her passion for the sea in the Florida Keys becoming a dolphin researcher and expert in interspecies communication.
Called home to East Hampton for her granny’s funeral, Thea finds herself in the midst of a bitter battle over family land. Half the family, seduced by soaring real estate prices and Hamptons A-List parties, want to sell, while the rest are intent on preserving their seagoing culture and values. As the fighting escalates, Thea’s visions become increasingly apocalyptic and she turns to her high school sweetheart, Atlas for comfort.
Back in the Keys, Thea's dolphins sound a warning, escaping from their lagoon and guiding her on a quest to the Pyramids in Tulum. With Atlas captaining the rescue boat, their romance reignites and their clan’s secret Atlantean ancestry is revealed. But will Thea discover the true meaning of her underwater visions and claim her destiny in time to save her feuding family from disaster? Stay tuned!
After decades producing TV series and digital media, I originally envisioned The Goddess of the Sea as a streaming series or film. But as I dove deeper into the layers of Thea’s psyche, I decided to develop the story as a novel first. This past summer, I started reading my novel to small groups on the East End of Long Island and the applause inspired me to get my novel published ASAP. While I take the next steps, I’ll be posting links to articles with information about the 400-year history and culture of the East End Baymen. Video interviews and a documentary, The Bonackers, are coming soon.