LAKE GEORGE — For Suzanne La Voie, the Jersey Shore doesn’t compare to the shores of Lake George.
The author, who read the first chapter of her book “Knight Shift” at the Caldwell-Lake George Library on Wednesday evening, has been visiting Lake George with her family since she was 6 years old.
“I’ve been to half the United States and overseas and I still consider this my favorite area in the world,” La Voie told the audience.
Now in her 40s, the New Jersey resident is making the lakeside village the setting of her “Knight” book series.
“The biggest question I get is, ‘Well, what do you do there? It’s a lake,’” La Voie laughed. “I said, ‘Well, it’s a really, really big lake,’ and I said, ‘What can’t you do here? There’s everything.’ I’ve been coming here over 30 years and there’s still things I haven’t done.”
La Voie, who has a master’s degree in social work, always loved to write but worked in education and the hospitality field before embarking on her literary journey. A few years ago, she fell ill and found herself house-bound.
She decided to fulfill her dream of writing a book, and she set to work on her laptop writing the first few chapters of “Knight Shift,” set in her favorite place — Lake George.
“Knight Shift” tells the story of Sage Knight, who, after a major life upheaval, seeks solace in her beloved town of Lake George. The book is about the power of starting over and overcoming adversity. It is available on Amazon for $13.
Writing the book has taken La Voie on a journey.
“When everything just falls apart in your life, it may seem scary, but that is the best time to really take that huge leap of faith and dig into something that you’re really passionate about,” she said. “And for me it was writing.”
While the characters are fictional, their experiences are based on her personal and professional life and the novel mentions specific places in Lake George, Glens Falls and the whole Adirondack region.
“There’s something divine about these mountains,” she said. “Every time I come here I always feel healthier, I feel calmer, more relaxed.”
She coaches people on social media about what they should do when they visit Lake George, like eating pizza at Giuseppe’s or feasting on the prime rib at The Log Jam or Ridge Terrace. She lauds the area’s many activities, like parasailing, whitewater rafting, hiking and miniature golfing.
“As a writer and an author,” she explained, “I won’t put anything in my books that I haven’t experienced myself.”
Hoping to make Lake George her permanent residence someday, La Voie will be spending a lot more time in the area, doing research for the next two books in the series.
Her second book in the series, “Falling into the Knight,” will come out in November. The third in the series will have a winter theme and incorporate the Lake George Winter Carnival.
“I want my readers to feel that they want to be here,” she said, “that they feel like they’ve been here.”
While “Knight” is the main character’s last name, “Shift” in the title also has a double meaning, La Voie said.
“Being sick was really the best shift that happened to me because it forced me to really look at what I wanted to do,” La Voie said. “I have a life today that I never would have imagined for myself.”
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