Nicola Dorrington, a member of the Southern Cross Club family, has just published her first novel, The Last Knight, and paperback copies of the book are now available at the resort gift shop. The novel was released online in July 2013, and because sales were good, she decided to join the ranks of self-published authors by ordering printed copies of the novel for direct sale. The paperbacks arrived on Little Cayman in October and shortly after the shipment came in, the Southern Cross Club hosted a poolside book signing party for Nicola. Under the stars she did her first readings from The Last Knight, a story inspired by the legends of King Arthur set in modern times, and staff, guests and island residents gathered for the celebration of a dream come true.
“I’ve been writing since I was very young − it’s just something I’ve always loved to do − but this book in particular was because I simply love the legends of King Arthur, the chivalry and romanticism,” says Nicola. “I wanted almost to suggest that those ideals are not as old fashioned as they seem.”
The heroine of The Last Knight is a young girl named Cara Page who thinks she’s going crazy when she starts hearing voices and having prophetic dreams. Nicola says the girl soon discovers a world of myth and magic beyond her imagination, and Cara learns that her heritage is tied to an ancient legend. “She goes in search of answers and along the way she falls in love with a boy called Lance who isn’t entirely what he seems,” she adds.
On rustic and peaceful Little Cayman the aspiring author found the perfect place to focus on her passion.
“It is an inspiring place to write, mostly because there are so few distractions,” she says. “I could go and sit on a beach and not see another soul for hours. It’s so easy to just sit and look at the ocean and let your imagination go.”
Once the book was finished, Nicola had to find a way to publish it – which these days is much easier thanks to a thriving self-publishing industry made possible by the Internet and e-commerce giant Amazon. Was it hard to publish the book from a tiny island in the Caribbean?
“It definitely created some challenges,” says Nicola. “The biggest challenge was probably trying to deal with my cover designers – who are based in the UK – because of the time difference. They would email me but by the time I could get back to them it was already the end of the day for them and I would have to wait to hear back again. Now the biggest challenge is getting stock shipped over.”
“We are all extremely proud of Nickie and we wish her every success,” says Jennifer Mills, General Manager of the Southern Cross Club, “to write a novel is a feat in itself, but to go to the lengths she has to get it published is quite an accomplishment.”
Nicola Dorrington dreams big for her first novel, and in today’s world, dreams do come true. “Of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it to become a bestseller, but in reality I’d just like to reach as many people as I can,” she says. “This book is not a great work of literature, it is simply a fun, entertaining, enjoyable read, and I just want as many people to appreciate it as possible. Of course, a blockbuster movie and hordes of adoring fans would be lovely too!”
Dorrington hopes to eventually distribute the book throughout the Cayman Islands, but for now The Last Knight is available exclusively through the gift shop at the Southern Cross Club at $15 a copy.
About the Southern Cross Club
The casually sophisticated Southern Cross Club Fish & Dive Resort is Little Cayman’s original resort. It features 12 beachfront bungalows complete with a top-rated, professional in-house diving and fishing operation. A unique blend of rusticity and elegance the resort is often described as “Barefoot Luxury”. Guests can expect friendly and diligent service, delicious food, inviting rooms with breath-taking views and a comfortable dive boat ― a few of the things that bring them back year after year. Little Cayman is renowned for its breath-taking and pristine coral reefs and spectacular dive adventures. The resort’s beach-based location also provides flats fisherman with access to Bonefish and Permit just minutes away.