Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New HNS Feature: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz illuminates the idyllic yet dangerous world of lighthouse-keeping in the early 20th century

Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief, is back with a new novel about a woman who travels back in time to 1921 and falls in love with a lighthouse keeper who looks remarkably like her deceased husband, and I recently had the chance to ask Tiffany a few questions on behalf of the Historical Novel Society.

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Bestselling and RITA Award-winning romance author Tiffany Reisz is diving into the realm of historical fiction, and her new novel The Night Mark immerses readers in the lighthouse culture of post-WWI America and the shifting social attitudes of 1920s South Carolina. The Night Mark is the tale of a 21st-century woman grieving for her husband who is swept away by the tides. She awakens to find herself in 1921, coming face-to-face with a lighthouse keeper who looks exactly like the man she’s been mourning for four years.

The novel was inspired by a trip with her husband to Savannah, Georgia, where Reisz learned about the legend of Florence Martus. “A lighthouse keeper’s sister, she apparently fell in love with a sailor who shipped out and left her behind. She would greet every ship that came into port by waving a flag or a lantern in the hopes her true love was aboard and coming back to her. Andrew and I thought that sounded like a cover story to us. Maybe Florence just didn’t want to get married so she made up this fiancĂ© so she never had to marry anyone else. Probably not true but that’s how the writer brain works, always looking for plot twists!” With this story, Reisz returns to the barrier islands of South Carolina, the setting that captured her imagination as she wrote her earlier novel The Bourbon Thief.

Reisz describes the time period as a fun one to explore as a writer. “I was shocked by how contemporary it felt researching that time. It’s right after WWI but right before the Great Depression, so it was a kind of eye of history’s storm. And certainly a time period where women were really starting to take charge of their lives as they tasted independence during the war.”


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