We are so delighted to have local authors in our TVR family! Introducing: Renee Sellers Bennett, a TVR homeowner and author.
Tybee Island has the magical ability to feed your creative soul! From peaceful morning strolls on the edge of the Atlantic to quirky island life, it's easy to get caught up in what we call "Tybee Time" and let your imagination run wild. As for Renee, Tybee inspired her to publish her second book,
Read about Renee's connection to Tybee Island and how it has inspired her writing:
"About twelve years ago, my husband and I travelled to the Lowcountry. Prior to that trip, I had been there before, visited Savannah and even Tybee Island once. It was not until that trip that I truly fell in love with the Lowcountry. Maybe it was because I was too busy on past trips there, focusing on my little family that was growing up way too fast. Yes, that had to be it, for the Lowcountry was calling my name in a very LOUD whisper. I fell in love with Tybee Island in 2008 and we purchased Treetop Cottage in 2012. The island has inspired me to slow down, which gets my creativity stirred in a way like no other. I have spent hours writing at Treetop Cottage, as I have allowed the sea, marsh, sunsets and the sheer magic of island life to permeate my soul. Tybee’s laid-back persona reminds me of the suburb of which I grew up. I feel free as I ride my bike, as if I were a child again. Freedom. That’s the word!
I had always thought I would write a book but did not know exactly what it would be about. I am certainly not a world traveler, but I have travelled the world through books. I decided to write about what I found most interesting - the intrigue of family dynamics and the impact that both family and friends make in our lives. And of course, being the southern girl that I am - the southern way of life.
My first book began to formulate in my mind as I was riding down I-16 returning to the Lowcountry and Savannah. Imagine that! There is not very much scenery, but the draw of the treasures I found in the city, so steeped in history, and a coast that captured my heart, fueled my imagination. It was like a shot of adrenalin for me to begin writing about southern women.
Hearts Immersed Within: Recipes, Reflections and A Side of Relish, published in 2015, is a book that chronicles my life, but more importantly the impact that women make on one another. It was written to champion women through hope, humor, emotion and love. Ninety southern recipes are included as a portion of my treasured collection. One of my favorite quotes in the book is as follows:
We cook for love; we cook for joy. We cook when death knocks at the door, our hearts full of sorrow - when we can do no more, than offer the repast from our hearts.
Most recently, I wrote my first work of fiction that is set on Tybee Island. A Casualty of Perfection was born, literally, on my morning walks on Tybee, as my thoughts ran rampant to develop the storyline. Tybee, Sweet Tybee, as I lament in my book, is the place that allows the characters the freedom to face challenges, slay dragons and where the mighty sea and salt is a healing balm. The past and present are intertwined in a fictitious story that is dripping with truth.
Three sisters discover hope and healing as the story flashbacks to the suburbs of Atlanta. I grew up in one of those suburbs, and my love runs deep. I was fortunate enough to spend many hours visiting with my family in that fair city, and I am still captivated with its beauty. The geographical locations depicted in my book inspired me to fictitiously promote their relevance and charm. Lady Atlanta and Lady Savannah have won my heart forever. Tybee Island, my soul."
Lounge in a chair at Renee's property, Treetop Cottage, and dive into her latest release!
Looking to buy her book? Follow this link to purchase!