A book that is now available online to purchase takes youngsters on an adventurous journey in and around Bokeelia.
After working on her first novel on and off for a couple of years, Carolyn Grimm, a part-time resident of Bokeelia, was recently finally able to hold the end result in her hands - "The Curse of the Orange Moon: A Pirate Tale from Charlotte Harbour."
Grimm, who is an artist and muralist, sat down with her girlfriend who lives in Mississippi to talk about a dream that she had - writing a picture book.
Carolyn Grimm, a part-time resident of Bokeelia, recently self-published her first fiction book, “The Curse of the Orange Moon: A Pirate Tale from Charlotte Harbor,” for youngsters, which is available on Amazon.com.
"She kind of got my juices going," Grimm said about the idea of creating a book.
The author decided to share the idea of writing a book with her hairdresser, who encouraged her to sit down and start writing about what she loves.
That love engulfed Bokeelia and everything it has to offer.
Grimm, who lives in Kansas and spends a portion of the year on the island, lived in Fort Myers in the 1980s. While living in Fort Myers, she heard a song that mentioned Bokeelia, which eventually led her to visiting the area and falling in love with it.
She said she has had the pleasure of visiting and staying on Bokeelia for the last eight years.
With eight grandchildren ranging in age from 12 to 22, Grimm decided to write a book that could eventually benefit their children.
"I want my grandkids to have this and read it to their kids," she said.
The book began evolving while she visited the island as she rode around on her bike with a notebook in hand. Grimm said she would ride along for a little while before she picked a spot to sit down and write.
"I sat everywhere out here," she said, so she could create the characters of the book. "I tried to get inside of their head and what they were thinking."
The characters are all people she knows, are relatives or people she wished she had as relatives. The main character, Kai, is based on the personality of her third cousin and PJ is based on the personality of her best friend's daughter.
The novel will take youngsters on a journey of enchanted maps, invisible birds, glass eyes, killer gators, guard dogs and rogue hurricanes as the main character searches for a pirate. Grimm said the readers will watch the story unfold as the character finds all the clues.
Initially the story was going to include Native Americans instead of pirates, before a boat ride she took with her cousin around Bokeelia.
"It was an interesting twist in fate," she said.
Grimm had an idea of what the pirate looked like, which she envisioned to be wearing a Florida Gators baseball cap, which was found in the mangroves in the water that day she was with her cousin.
She took the hat home and placed it on a coconut, which further inspired her.
The setting of the book begins on the first day of 5th grade at Pine Island Elementary School where Kai tries to show off, as he is required to read the dreaded essay of what he did over the summer.
Although Pine Island Elementary School is identified in the story, Grimm said all the street names were changed. She said the kids who read the story will be able to piece together where on the island incidents are taking place.
The book was written with young boy and girl humor throughout to keep the kids smiling, she said.
"It's a great story to read at night," Grimm said due to its short chapters. "It holds their interest and gives (them) satisfaction points."
Grimm said she left the story off where she could do more if she decides to write a second book.
The book, which costs $11.99, can be purchased on Amazon.com.