Coastal Delaware author Cindy Cavett writes stories beloved by both tourists and locals of the peninsula’s coastal beaches. In fact, the beaches play such an integral role in her writing that she often goes by the pen name “Seaside Cindy.”
She writes love stories by the beach and cozy mysteries by the seaside, and lately she’s been especially busy: Three of her short stories, all which take place on the Delmarva peninsula, are debuting this year within the span of three months.
She’s not a Delaware native — Cavett is originally from Philadelphia — but the coastal towns and communities of Delmarva continue to inspire her across every genre.
Taking a Beach Break
Most recently, her short story “Rehoboth Beach Break” was published in Running Wild Anthology of Stories, Volume 2 back in March. Cavett lives in Smyrna, and she most often uses the coastal beach towns of Delaware and Maryland as the settings for her stories.
“Beach Break” takes place in, of course, Rehoboth Beach, DE. The story follows a WBOC reporter who’s sent from her office in Salisbury to Rehoboth, where a rogue pirate has hijacked the townspeople’s points from a “Rehobie Points” rewards app.
The story is two parts fiction, one part local history. The pirate in question, Captain Kidd, is said to have buried a treasure chest of gold somewhere in the Lewes area.
“I enjoy promoting the local beaches and businesses and just everything in those areas… including the pirates that used to be around,” Cavett said. “It’s rumored that the pirate’s treasure is still off the coast of Lewes and Rehoboth. Apparently he was friends with Blackbeard.”
Her interest in technology also played a large role in “Beach Break.” She studied cyber security in college before switching to media communications, and her background in both of those areas still lend themselves to her writing.
“I’d like to see technology and apps and even hacking be used more in fiction, but I wanted something lighthearted, too.”
Romance by the sea
In addition to “Beach Break,” Cavett also has two stories coming out in the anthology Beach Love, which she co-edited with Nancy Sakaduski, founder of the anthology’s publisher Cat & Mouse Press.
Those stories take place in Ocean City, MD and Fenwick Island, DE, respectively.
“Dog-napping in Ocean City” is a “reluctant love story,” as she described it, where an Ocean City cop and a former Delaware cop team up to find a wealthy woman’s dog, and end up bringing down a notorious Ocean City dog-napper in the process.
“Stranded in Fenwick” is also a love story, but one with a dramatic rather than comedic edge; a woman finds herself unlucky-in-love (and life in general) when her fiancé breaks up with her at their engagement party, set at the Fenwick restaurant Our Harvest.
Cavett moved to Delaware in 2011 and “hasn’t looked back since.” By writing, she’s able to dive headfirst into the cultures of the communities on the coast of Delaware and beyond. That’s something she’s especially excited to share with her readers, whether it’s by way of podcasts, articles she’s written for Coastal Delaware and other local publications, or short stories.
“I honestly feel like there’s so much going on in this area that people don’t know about,” she said. “I feel like if I keep discovering that over and over again, I can’t imagine people don’t know how vibrant the Delaware and Ocean City communities are.”
Not to mention how different the communities are, despite being so similar geographically.
“There’s such a contrast between Rehoboth and Ocean City,” she said. “What’s better in a quiet beach town than having some drama happen?”
Some of Cavett’s favorite places to write about — the ones she specifically associates with each town — include the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, The Dough Roller in Ocean City and Browseabout Books in Rehoboth.
In fact, Browseabout Books is where she’ll be signing copies of the Running Wild anthology on April 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There she’ll be joined by two other local authors published in the anthology, Gemma L. Brook (who wrote “The Guest” and “Last Memory”) and Laura Nelson Selinsky (author of “Seawall”).
On May 12, also at Browseabout Books, is the launch of the Beach Love anthology. From 2 to 4 p.m., Cavett and Sakaduski will be signing books and hosting the launch party with refreshments and giveaways.
There seems to be an endless supply of art that beautiful beach towns can inspire, but Cavett is also happy to have found a community of writers in the region to collaborate with and support.
“It is amazing to see how many people are writing about the beach towns and Delaware in general,” she said. “Seeing how many talented people are here is mind-boggling to me — Where did you all come from and why did I not hear of you before?”