ADDRESSES: Agent—Kay McCauley, The Pimlico Agency, Inc., P.O. Box 20447, Cherokee Station, New York, NY 10021.
CAREER: Senior editor at a publishing house in New York, NY.
Seal Island (romance novel), Tom Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Another romance.
SIDELIGHTS: Kate Brallier's debut novel, Seal Island, is a paranormal romance set in the "down East" area of Maine. It is a region Brallier knows well, since she spent her childhood summers there, living with her family in tents overlooking the Penobscot Bay. According to Booklist reviewer Diana Tixier Herald, "a delicious gothic feel permeates this debut." Despite the gothic atmosphere, however, the story is set in modern times, and concerns a Manhattan woman named Cecilia, who loses her job and home in New York and must take up residence in a seaside cottage on an island in Maine. Celia has inherited the place from a cousin, Allegra, who was recently murdered. Cecilia did not know Allegra well, but upon reaching the island she discovers that she had many things in common with the dead woman. She befriends a seal that Allegra raised, and also begins a relationship with a neighbor, a man who, as in the British "selkie" stories, might be a seal that has turned into a human.
Commenting on Brallier's ability to weave together many genres, Harriet Klausner wrote in MBR Bookwatch that the story seems to begin as a contemporary romance, but develops into a mystery and ultimately adds an element of fantasy. She added, "Fans will appreciate this modern day romance with an iota of a mystery that climaxes as a fantasy suspense thriller." Seal Island was recommended as a "gentle" romance by a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, who added that the story's "slightly old-fashioned take on love exudes a leisurely and timeless charm."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2005, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Seal Island, p. 1148.
MBR Bookwatch, March, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Seal Island.
Publishers Weekly, January 24, 2005, review of Seal Island, p. 227.
Kate Brallier Home Page, http://www.katebrallier.com (June 22, 2005).