As a child, I remember pulling up to an old grey gas station made of cinder blocks. A bell would ring overhead as we pulled in. We would follow my mother into the store to pay. The old man at the register always smiled and would tell us to pick out a piece of candy from the wood barrel. Across the street was an old bait shop where we’d lean over the tank and watch the smelly minnows swim on a hot summer day. My siblings and I would leave with a pint of nightcrawlers, ready to go fishing off our dock in the backyard. This was the place I grew up, Lake Norman, North Carolina.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I moved to the Lowcountry this year and already feel like I’m home. Outside my window, I can see live oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from the branches and along the two-lane roads are miles and miles of marshland. Cattails sway in the warm salty breeze, and every once and awhile, I’ll see two bumps sticking out of the murky water. Alligators, and they’re everywhere!
The Atlantic Ocean is only a short drive away. There are boardwalks that lead out to the white sandy beaches, the tide rises and falls as though it too is breathing, and seagulls take flight above my head as they search for food.
At night, stars shine so bright, that it feels like I can reach out and touch them. The silence is accompanied by sounds of waves lapping at the shoreline.
To me, it is a place of beauty that only God could create.
What turns you on creatively?
Writing to me is like playing the piano. I listen to the melody as it sifts word by word through my mind. It brings me to a place of calm but also allows me to share a part of myself that I normally would never share.
I would say when I write, I think about my Protagonist and try to see the world through their eyes. I draw from my environment and experiences, but I try to separate myself from my character enough so that they are alive in their own sense.
When I’m feeling stuck, I’ll take a break from writing. Even though I’ve stepped away from my keyboard, the stories seem to form when I least expect them to. Sometimes, and I know this might sound crazy, I listen as the universe sends me clues and often it does. But my eyes need to be open and my heart as well, so that I can find that creativity without bias and expectation. This way, it feels organic and not forced.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
One of my favorite words is determination. This word is at the very core of who I am and what I aim for every day. I am determined to grow as a writer, study the craft of writing and always be willing to change. So that I can continue to grow and be the best version of myself.
“When you hit a brick wall, instead of trying to run through it, because that’ll only hurt, try finding another way around, even if it means doing something that no one has ever done before.” – Abagail Summers
What is your pet peeve?
I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression, never judge a book by its cover. For writers, we all know book covers sell. I get that. But what if we actually gave people the time, they deserve to get to know them? As a writer, I am a great listener. I love to hear other people’s stories and learn what makes them tick. In fact, it fascinates me. Because just like a fingerprint, we are all made differently. If only we could see things as a whole and not as a shell. Look past the outer layer and peel back the beauty of who they are, I mean who they really are. We might be surprised to find out there’s more to them than what we can see.
What defines Abagail Summer?
I am defined by my past and my present. Just like the water around me, throughout my childhood and now my adulthood, it moves me forward toward an unknown future but keeps me afloat with the wisdom to swim.
My past. I would sit criss cross on my bunk bed and write in my diary every day as a little girl. Writing has always been my way of dealing with the world around me.
My present. This year, I finished my fourth novel titled, ‘After the Storm’ and am now seeking representation so that it can be traditionally published. While I’m working on this, I have started three novels and am trying to figure out which one I want to commit my time to.
I am a Lowcountry author of short stories, poetry, and novels. I made my debut in 2014 with the novel, Life with a Bird Out the Window, followed by Forgiving the Past (2020), and The Untold Legacy (2021). My work has appeared online in Spillwords. Two of my short stories, Shining Light, and Claire De Lune have been chosen to be published in an anthology titled, An Iron Fist in A Velvet Glove. They also were awarded honorable mention in the Globe Soup 7 Day Writing Contest. I am a member of several writing groups, Write Like You Mean It, Kingsbridge Writers Circle, Writers Beyond Borders, Charlotte Lit, and participate in open mic nights with the Pat Conroy Literary Center.