DURHAM — What started off as a passion project quickly took on a life of its own.
Durham’s own Andrea Steele followed her passions to a tangible end. What started as a daydream has now turned into a reality as Steele self-published her first novel “The Trap.”
Steele defines herself as “an avid mystery reader.” It wasn’t until she finished one of her beloved mystery novels that her own story began to form in her mind: a work of historical fiction that incorporates dual timelines and, of course, plenty of intrigue.
“It was a complete surprise to me that I would all of a sudden one day wanted to write a book,” she said. “My own sister even said ‘You want to write a book? You can’t even spell!’.”
Steele’s background was in business, a far reach from creative writing. However, Steele began her writing portfolio before “The Trap” with “Lessons in Lightness – the Art of Educating the Horse” – a manual on horses and horsemanship.
Suffice to say, “The Trap” deviates wildly from equine study.
“The story is about an American woman whose only surviving family member, her grandfather who lives in Germany, has taken ill,” Steele said. “When she arrives, she begins to go through his personal belonging and finds a letter that was unopened and the postmark on it is Berlin, 1945.”
The story operates on dual timelines as readers are taken to World War II era Germany and the present day. Steele said that when reflecting on her writing process, the hardest part was maintaining coherent timelines that worked with the story.
“I have these sliding glass doors behind my desk and I had a marker and the timeline of where the characters were, what the dates were all on the glass,” she said.
Now on sale, Steele’s novel has already received critical acclaim. D. Donovan of the Midwest Book Review said “historical fiction tempered with mystery doesn’t get much better than this!”
Steele has encountered such success with her storytelling that she is already examining contracts from publishers with the idea for a series around “The Trap” in the works.
“I think that there’s a story inside of everybody. Don’t be afraid to take it on. Embrace creativity and don’t be afraid to fail,” Steele said.
You can purchase “The Trap” at www.advancedequinestudies.com/novel.