Sand and surf in Asia


People have been asking what Leah and I have planned next and now, a year in the making, we’re set to travel to Thailand.

In January, we’ll spend 16 days in Ao Nang on the coast of the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand, some 400 miles south of Bangkok and less than 200 miles north of Malaysia.

While there, we will explore the community and come up with stories and photos to share with y’all in the new Expeditions section (see the tab above?). And, of course, you can bet a future book will be set there.

The story of our getting to this point is amazing enough.

It starts with meeting Catherine at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, some 10 years ago. She was at Mac Town several days while waiting for good enough weather to begin her season at the South Pole, and we got to know each other a bit during that time. When I made a three-day trip to Pole, she was the first to meet me … with a big, warm hug as I got off the plane in -25 degree temperatures.

(If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because JP had much the same experience with Cindy Murphy in “The Reporter and the Penguin.” He also crossed paths with her again in “Marmot.”)

That was it, but we kind of hit it off and then Facebook came along. Three or four years later, she was passing through central Texas and we met up for coffee and a doughnut. Then, last winter, she and her husband met Leah and me for a prolonged lunch and chat session. During that time, Catherine and James told us of their plans to spend several months in Thailand becoming certified as scuba instructors. Then, they hoped to open their own dive shop there.

“You do that and we’ll come visit,” we said, wavering between conviction and dreams.

They’ve completed the first part, though I believe actually going into business there might be a little more challenging. However, they’re both working full time at a dive shop, they have a two-bedroom house and the invitation was still valid. So, naturally …

One last thing … readers of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series know Catherine better than you think. She was the winner in my first design-a-character competition. Remember Moose MacDuff, the electrical lineman in “Hurricane”? She created him. Plus, she contributed the name and character description for Kat McFarlen in the most recent book, “Marmot.”

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