As a member of the Atlanta Writer’s Club, I enjoy ‘painting’ vivid, funny, lyrical, and heart-pounding art thru words. — Kathy Hamdy-Swink
WORK-IN PROGRESS FICTION – writing as Anne Swan:
“Writing on the Walls” is a planned series of magical realism novels about multi-generational sagas of revenge, romance, greed, mystery, inheritances, and/or redemption taking place at a breathtakingly beautiful (fictional) Otter Lake, in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North East Georgia.
The first “Writing on the Walls” novel, “Thunder Moon” is set, in dual timelines of 1936 thru 2013, at the Great Camp Dancing Bears’ Estate, on Otter Lake, one of the oldest remaining Great Camps on Otter Lake. It’s a tale about of lost-love, soulful healing, unsolved murder mysteries, greed, and justice for both an old resident ghost and visitor. See below for the novel’s elevator pitch/jacket cover copy.
The fictional Camp Dancing Bears’ estate and setting are loosely based on a historical 600 acre lakefront estate in NE GA built ~1917’s by the first CEO of Coca-Cola.
1936 is a fascinating historical era for the lake that Otter Lake is based upon. It’s between wars, when automobiles and trains made travel to remote summer homes, in the rural and somewhat isolated mountains, much easier than decades before when the hydro-power dam and lake were first built/created, in 1915. It was an era of growth as more folks built grand homes, then a rustic hotel sprang up and visitors were welcomed, or so they thought. Lake-life for homeowners, help, visitors/tourists, and locals varied over time from dependence, love, and admiration to tolerance, resentment, greed and sadly, sometimes even hatred. Over the decades, family sagas played out as some struggled to maintain, keep, and plan successions for historic lake homes. Inheritance dilemmas tore lake families apart and the fictional families portrayed in Thunder Moon were not immune to any of those issues and conflicts. Yet life on the lake could also be filled with unforgettable wonderment and love. My own love for this lake began in 1967… And am lucky to live here, nearly full-time.
The inspiration for the novel’s opening chapter came from a wild experience on a 1994 boondoggle, ‘work-trip’ as a high-tech, VIP to play golf and watch the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. Instead of staying at my typical go-to-hotel, a fancy high-rise Marriott, I chose the Snow Coach Cottage, part of The Historic Worthington Inn. Before my alarm went off, the room became frigid as big foggy ghost hovered over my bed. The first thing that came to mind (other than yanking all the covers over my head)—was why? Why did that ghost choose me? Surely there were more interesting guests! And then my imagination kicked in: could it have been a lost-love-ghost searching for my grandmother, who had worked around Columbus, Ohio in her youth? Maybe I resembled her at that age? And of course she and I both sport a soft spot for romance!
That romantic tale’s 1994 seed stayed planted, until the title and draft book jacket bloomed in 2010 from an inspiring, touching lost-love story learned while photographing an actual Thunder Moon rising over Lake Rabun. And yes – the draft cover below is one of my Limited Edition photos, from that photo shoot, titled Moon-Shine.
Currently the novel’s word count is at 70K expected to be completed at 120K, before sharp scissors begin snipping out some of my favorite scenes. Genre is Magical Realism/Commercial Fiction. Theme: If walls could talk.
WORK-IN PROGRESS FICTION – writing as Anne Swan:
“Bird Tales” is a fun-filled magical realism series, set in the woods of Otter Lake and suburban Atlanta. It’s first novel “Timothy’s Tales” is about a Cardinal that looses its tail. Magical things happen when his tail feathers get snatched. But first he and his feathered buddies must choose a youngster-in-need. Together they attempt to help save the day and make the chosen one a home town hero, but things don’t always go as the band of feathered friends planned. Theme: Be careful what you wish for.
WORK-IN PROGRESS NON-FICTION – writing as KA Hamdy-Swink:
“Why Is It Called Love” is a quirky non-fiction poem and knowledge book about the game of Tennis. It may end up as a combination bathroom/coffee table picture book for all ages.
“The Land-Lady’s Secrets” Is a humous combination resource/memoir book for a) those thinking of becoming “caring” independent investment real estate landlords/landladies and for b) new-to-renting tenants trying to learn how to maintain their new-to-them homes, on a budget.
“Last Steps” is a (hopefully) inspirational memoir about my journey from being able to walk to living via a wheel chair. Currently this book is on hold as my body has somewhat stabilized and is still (miraculously) mobile, without full-time wheels.
Twenty-years of business writing experience in the high tech and corporate worlds—crafting compelling target-audience arguments for marketing, PR, legal, intellectual property, and/or business investments purposes. Enjoyed being a corporate media spokesperson and wrote my own speeches for events/conferences. Retired from ‘earning W/2’s’ in 2002, to become a freelance writer for magazine, newspaper, and marketing/web copy. Worked towards learning the creative writing craft through critique groups, by attending the Harriette Austin Writers Conference, which included Terry Kay’s creative writing clinic, and completing Donna Ball’s fiction novel writing course. In 2004 became an entrepreneur, started up two small companies in investment real estate and commercial photography/photo gifts/notecards/decor (a lot more business writing!). Thankfully, the creative inkwell didn’t dry up, so in late in 2019, pulled down work long ago shelved, dusted off my—Feather-Tales—creative writing ‘quill’, etched out pages . . . and slowly oh-so-slowly pecked and fluffed out stories (oops! meant to say TALES) while learning more about the business and art of creative writing, helped by a critique group, writing contests, and the 2022 Atlanta Writer’s Club Conference.
At the Inn he’s allowed to haunt, an old reclusive Otter Lake ghost is shocked to see the spitting image of his long-lost love. She’s there to write stories about the oldest Great Camp on beautiful Otter Lake, but no one wants those stories told. When ruthless heirs hamper her progress, ghostly shenanigans and a smart Golden Retriever help her unearth Camp Dancing Bears’ gilded history and love stories. But as scandalous secrets and a murder mystery emerge, greedy heir’s bullets fly—and only the old ghost can save her . . .
Answers the old ghost needs are in encoded GhostNotes, written by ghosts eons ago, but some are hidden within structures he’s not allowed to haunt. To decipher codes, he must live by GhostRules and be willing to give up his beloved lake-life forever—possibly never to learn the shocking fate of his long-lost love. Yet if the old ghost, writer and Golden Retriever learn to collaborate: what trouble will they dig into and are there more stunning secrets, at Great Camp Dancing Bears, to scoop up?
“Thunder Moon” Draft Book Cover – created by Kathy Hamdy-Swink using one of her all time favorite Limited Edition Photos of a full Thunder Moon: “Moon-Shine” taken in 2010 at Lake Rabun, GA.
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