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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Cori Wamsley shares what inspired her to write her new book, Braving The Shore, and her creative writing process.

Cori Wamsley on The Table Read

Written by Cori Wamsley

When I started writing Braving the Shore, I was mostly spinning ideas in my head with no real intention of writing a book. I hadn’t written a novel in several years, since I was raising my young daughters and growing my business, and although I love writing, I assumed I would eventually get back into it when I “had more time.”

The book had different plans though!

Inspired To Start Writing Braving The Shore

I started out wondering about a situation I saw on a show, where someone took advantage of a car accident to do something illegal that would massively benefit them. I thought it would be interesting to do something similar but have the characters be totally innocent of what happened. I wanted to see how the lesson played out with characters who believed that what was happening was supposed to happen and how they would handle it.

Once I figured out the how, I started walking backward through a storyline to see where it started and developed twin sisters who are loving and loyal. They were the perfect characters to act out the story.

Braving The Shore by Cori Wamsley on The Table Read
Braving The Shore

Again, all of this part was in my head! Once I was committed to writing the book, that’s when I sat down and started writing an outline. That’s always the first action I take on a book when I’m at my computer. I know it’s tempting to start writing immediately, but if you don’t have a plan, it’s easy to write yourself into a wall! Best to know where you’re going first!

The #1 Writing Tool

Working Out My Characters

As you develop a story, it’s easy to get caught up in superficial things like what the setting and characters look like or the names for everything, but it’s really important too to understand the characters’ motivation. You need to know a little of their backstory so you can understand why they behave a certain way.

In the case of my character Jocelyn, you find out in the story that she left her hometown because of an abusive boyfriend making her feel unworthy of love and devoid of self-esteem, leading her to shut down a part of her heart. She fled and consequently created a life where she moved from place to place, exploring new towns, which worked out for her, but it left her with a craving for home. This is why her return home at the beginning of the book and her subsequent desire for roots plays into her behavior.

Chelsea, on the other hand, felt appreciated and nurtured and loved the cozy feeling of being home on the island. This led her to creating a life where she rarely left and explored the world, which is why her sister’s journey was such a fascination to her. Their different experiences bred their almost symbiotic relationship where one had roots and the other wings; however, they each longed for a little more, which is what the story is about.

As we follow Chelsea’s journey with memory loss, we discover that she created ways to impact bigger, though she was a little less obvious with her ways than Jocelyn was. Chelsea chose to have a child and open a shop, leading to her impact being generational AND community-wide. She also is dating someone who wants to travel and run a nonprofit to give back, and she supports that whole-heartedly.

Living Our Lives Authentically

The biggest lesson of Braving the Shore is that we need to live our lives authentically rather than pushing parts of ourselves down or denying ourselves certain things because we fear that the experience could tear open old wounds. An old wound haunts Chelsea throughout the story as she tries to piece together her life before the accident, and it’s ultimately what has held her back from experiencing her wildest dreams come true.

As I wrote Braving the Shore, I wanted people to experience a lot of the lessons that I, as an entrepreneur, have learned over the years. I started out small, as a writing coach and book editor, but I now run Aurora Corialis Publishing and help lots of authors share their transformational stories as part of their businesses. I think it’s just as important for people outside of the business world to understand these things and heal because we ALL should be living our best lives.

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Following My Intuition

Though I map out all of my books, I always want to remain flexible for other things to come about. I tend to follow my intuition, like when I introduced the character Zara to the book. I knew that Chelsea needed a guide, someone wise to help nudge her actions in certain directions, but I didn’t plan her relationship to Zara from the beginning, and I didn’t know that the guide would come from the spirit world until I started playing.

It’s important to test things out and see where they go. Yes, I love structure and rules, but I also love having a little flexibility to see if a character will work or if a situation makes sense. Sometimes having another reader to bounce ideas off of or to act as a beta reader is incredibly helpful with guiding the narrative. Because I had a beta reader who was excellent with sharing what she thought the whole way through the book, this book is better than it would have been if I hadn’t shared it before publishing.

Braving The Shore

Braving the Shore wasn’t just a book that I enjoyed writing—and then reading no less than 10 times as I edited and refined before passing it to my editor—it was another step up in my journey that allowed me to witness my growth and perseverance as a person. When I published Braving the Shore in June of 2022, I felt that I had changed so much from the woman who first penned the words to the one who held the book in her hand. It was an awakening to my power as an author.

Find more from Cori Wamsley:

Cori Wamsley, CEO of Aurora Corialis Publishing, works with business owners who have a transformational story to share. She helps them quickly and easily write and publish a book for their brand that helps them create a legacy and be seen as an expert while building a relationship with the reader. 

Cori has 18 years’ experience as a professional writer and editor, including 10 years with the Departments of Energy and Justice and four years as the executive editor of Inspiring Lives Magazine. She also wrote eight fiction books and one nonfiction book, The SPARK Method: How to Write a Book for Your Business Fast, and contributed to two anthologies. Her newest book, Braving the Shore, was published in June of 2022.




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