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Inspiration for The Oysterville Sewing Circle

This is Jerry. He’s the most creative person I know, and he’s a master of his craft. If you want a glimpse at what he does check out his page.

At the moment he’s making a designer’s sample for one of his clients. People from all over the world–literally, the world–find Jerry and hire him to design apparel for them.

And this is the view from here. I’m in the loft space of his atelier, a building on our property that he designed himself and built with his buddy Kurt. It’s filled with light and driftwood beams and Jerry’s welding projects and windows reclaimed from an old house. He calls the theme “early shipwreck.” I like coming to the loft to write.

He’s been known to make everything. I mean, everything.

My wedding dress. Sheep costumes for the dogs. A Madeleine outfit for Clara. A slipcase for my laptop. A bib that looks like a tuxedo for my dad, who suffered from Parkinson’s but still liked to be classy. The first thing he ever sewed for me was a cover for my arm, because I’d broken my wrist skateboarding and was in a cast that had to stay dry.

He has a website where you can buy the hero t-shirt featured in THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE.

He thinks in 3-D images. He’s super interesting to me. I don’t know much about apparel design, but I know a lot about apparel designers.

He’s the reason I was able to write about Caroline, the main character in THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE, with such passion and authenticity. Jerry never faced the kinds of challenges Caroline does in my latest novel.

In the wake of a horrible tragedy, Caroline takes custody of her friend’s orphaned children and retreats to a tiny town on the Washington coast to remake her life. Yet there, in the safest place she knows, she encounters women facing the ultimate betrayal—domestic violence.

By now you’ve probably figured out that Caroline is not Jerry. And THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE is not about sewing.

What it’s about is survival, and renewal, and courage—and the power that comes from women helping women.

NOTE: If you need help, or if someone you know is in need, please reach out. In the United States, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline:, 1−800−799−SAFE(7233), or TTY 1−800−787−3224. See also the Partnership Against Domestic Violence:

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