by MA Grant
My husband and I moved to the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska in 2012. In case you’re not familiar with the state, the Kenai Peninsula is known for its salmon rivers, its coastal brown bears, and being one of the most beautiful and accessible parts of the state. We’re on the road system, still get sunlight in the winter, and after living here for four years, I have a hard time imagining myself anywhere else.
In the part of the Peninsula where I live, our forests are a thick medley of spruce, aspen, birch, and willow. The underbrush varies drastically from area to area, elevation to elevation. At our house, it’s a combination of horsetail, wild roses, fireweed (oh, how I love this flower), moss, ferns, and other assorted greens. If you step off a trail or road and duck ten feet back into the woods, everything changes. Only the forest sounds remain. Wild animals are often a mere stone’s throw away (just watch out for moose and bears, who are incredibly well camouflaged and very quiet for their size). Spring and summer bring streams, waterfalls, ponds, and rivers waiting for you to discover. Best of all, you don’t have to wander far to find that kind of nature. Even Anchorage, one of our largest cities, has a river and greenways running through it.
The romance of Alaska comes from its ability to steal your breath at any moment. Driving down the Kenai Spur Highway and cresting a hill, only to see Mount Redoubt dressed in her dawn-colored robes. Driving around the bend and catching your first glimpse of the quaint coastal town of Seward. Sitting on the Kenai River and watching the sunlight dance over the ripples. Even in winter, the glow of a full moon on the snow or the dancing of the Northern Lights over the beach will leave you wondering how you could ever manage to find yourself lucky enough to live in such a place.
The other reason Alaska will always hold a special place in my heart is because it was the landscape here that helped inspire me to write Red Moon, my first published book. The state and national parks are the perfect places for werewolves to roam and the self-sufficiency of people who live here was as much a part of Flynn’s character as it’s become mine. This place molded him into the man I wrote. It also gave Evie the escape she so desperately needed. And that is truly what Alaska is to me … my daily escape and my everyday vacation.
Dark, moving and original, a story of family, survival, and getting on with life…