Get ‘hooked’ on Jan Dawson’s second Hatteras Island novel

Published 3:20 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

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Hatteras Island local Jan Dawson has released her second novel, Hooked on You, just in time for red drum running season. Following her debut book Storm Season, this new release is also set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and dives into an aspect of coastal living many have come to know and love: fishing. Dawson was ecstatic to introduce this sweet rom-com about someone who comes to find that you never really know just what, or who, you’re going to reel in.

“My goal is to write stories about the Outer Banks, Hatteras Island, that bring people enjoyment, that make them smile,” Dawson told The Coastland Times in an interview about her newest release. While working on Storm Season, the author had started to piece together the plot for a second book. “The second book is not a direct sequel to the first; it has some different characters and a different plot line, but nearly all the characters from Storm Season make an appearance in Hooked on You.”

Hooked on You follows main character Jenni fresh out of an ugly divorce and doing her best to relax for a long weekend on Hatteras Island. A series of misadventures begin to unfold the moment her tires hit the beach road. Shortly after her arrival, Jenni finds herself in a fishing tournament, even though she hasn’t the slightest clue how to fish. Pushing the parameters of her comfort zone offers space for healing Jenni didn’t know she needed. She soon learns that forgiving yourself leads to a type of resiliency only heartbreak can offer, and surrounding yourself with good friends and family is as fun as it is therapeutic. Not to mention, the salty shores of the Outer Banks prove to be the perfect landscape for love. Dawson knows this perhaps better than anyone.

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Jan moved to Buxton in 2015 to help care for her mother. Upon returning, she reconnected with her now husband, Dave, whom she had dated over 40 years prior. The two married in 2016 and ran the Cape Hatteras Motel together, up until February of 2023. Dave went chapter by chapter with Jan as she worked on Hooked on You. As former president of the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, he was a huge help in versing the novelist on fishing terminology, what’s in season when and correct techniques to help the book represent the sport as accurately as possible.

Dawson also interviewed an accomplished female angler who resides on Hatteras Island to get a better sense of what all tournament fishing entails. Just like Jenni, Jan is inexperienced when it comes to the sport. She researched what it looks like for a newbie entering the fishing ring (or pier): “…In terms of what kind of fish, how you fish, what the judges typically expect, and how much you really have to do on your on being a first-time fishing person. You have to bait your own hook and cast your own line. So, the main character really had to have a crash course.”

Without giving away any spoilers, the author shared that she also reached out to the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad (HIRS) for some life-saving information. “My husband and I went in October and took a CPR course from the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad,” she said. “I spent time telling them what I was writing and gave them a scenario … they helped me make sure that what I was writing was accurate.” Since HIRS plays a huge role on the island in ensuring everyone has a safe time while at the beach, Dawson thought it important to lift them up in her novel while getting the details right.

Nods to local Hatteras Island favorites can be found throughout both Storm Season and Hooked on You. “These books are going to be relatable for those who are familiar with the island.” Whether read consecutively or on different trips to the beach, these stories are clean, sweet romance novels which hit close-to-home themes. Copies can be found on the shelves of all local Outer Banks bookstores and online through Amazon, with both paperback and Kindle versions available. Snag both while you can and enjoy these beach reads today!