Morgan Callan Rogers, a Bath native, wrote her debut novel, "Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea," because a voice in her head would not leave her alone.

“It’s true,” Callan Rogers said in a news release. “I needed a story to include in a packet for a creative writing course. I read a letter to the editor in a local newspaper that triggered an idea that led to Florine, the main character in my book. Her name came to me immediately, and she just started to talk. I’ve been listening to her, ever since.”

She will discuss her book at the Waldoboro Public Library Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to this free event sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Copies of the book, including the newly released paperback edition, will be available for purchase and signing. Cash or checks only please. For more information, call 832-4484 or go to

Callan Rogers grew up in Bath and graduated from Morse High School in 1970. She holds a bachelor of the arts degree in English and a master's in fine art in creative writing, both from the University of Southern Maine. She held a variety of jobs before writing the novel.

“I’ve been a grocery clerk, an assistant, an editor, an actress, I’ve cleaned houses, been a reporter, a singer, and a teacher, among other things. All of them contributed to the characters and the tone of the book.”

She credits the place she grew up, in Bath and the surrounding areas of Phippsburg and Georgetown, as the inspiration for the setting.

“During the summers, I was lucky to live in a cottage with my family in West Bath. I read, walked our dogs, and spent time alone with my imagination. I had a wild imagination. Still do. I’ve been writing stories since I was eight years old. I was writing a trilogy about an Irish rock star when Florine showed up. By then, I knew enough to listen when a voice as insistent as hers came knocking. I’m glad I did.”

"Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea" tells the story of Florine Gilham, the 12-year old daughter of a fisherman who lives in a village called The Point. His wife, Carlie, comes from "away." Florine and her friends roam The Point at will, living an idyllic life until Carlie disappears on a weekend away with a friend. The book, which takes place in the 1960s, follows Florine’s journey through grief and a rocky adolescence.

“It’s sad,” Callan Rogers said. “But it’s also funny and warm, in that way that Maine people embrace tragedy and comedy. My characters are based, in part, on mixes of people I knew growing up. I wrote it as a love letter to the place and the people I know, and to those that raised me.”

"Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea" has been published in Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. In the U.S., it was picked up by Viking/Penguin and first published in January 2012. The paperback edition will be available in late May.

“Florine has taken me on such a ride,” Callan Rogers said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better companion. I’m so lucky that she’s been around the world. But the best part of all of this is the way that the people of Maine have taken her in as one of their own. Maine readers tell me that I got her ‘right’, and that means more to me than I can say.”