By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Local author to sign her first novel Saturday
IMG 7405
Vicki-lynn Brunskill autographs a few copies of "Waving Backwards" in advance of her book signing from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Cadre Shops in Richmond Hill. - photo by Photo by Paul Floecker

Vicki-lynn Brunskill wrote her first novel quickly, banging it out in a month’s time.

She then spent three years rewriting it.

Brunskill, who lives in Richmond Hill, celebrated the launch of her book “Waving Backwards” Friday in Savannah. She will have a book signing from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Cadre Shops in Richmond Hill.

The lengthy process to publish the novel was “worth the wait for me,” Brunskill said. “A dream come true. I’ve been dreaming it for a long time.”

“Waving Backwards” is a fictional mystery about a college student named Lara Bonavito who travels from New York — Brunskill’s birthplace — to Savannah to find her roots. Adopted into an abusive home, Lara finds a cryptic letter in the family Bible offering a clue into her ancestry.

“The letter says, ‘The baby’s roots are with the Southern lady who waves forever,’” Brunskill said.

Lara determines that to be in Savannah, home of the famous Waving Girl statue. She meets a cast of characters throughout her journey to learn more about herself.

The story is personal to Brunskill, who herself is adopted. Finding her birth parents took a total of 13 years, Brunskill said, and she moved south after locating one parent in North Carolina and the other in Florida.

“I picked someplace in-between that had good schools,” she said with a laugh, “and I moved. And I took my adopted mom with me.”

Brunskill and her husband, Douglas, have lived in Richmond Hill for the past 10 years. Their daughter, Nia, is a senior at Richmond Hill High School and a big supporter of her mother’s novel.

“We had a guest book (at the launch party), and she wrote, ‘From your biggest fan,’” Brunskill said. “So she’s proud.”

Brunskill has a full-time job producing and hosting business management webinars. She previously was a music journalist for Creem and Metronome magazines.

The career writer had the idea for “Waving Backwards” and followed the writing model of NaNoWriMo, an Internet-based creative-writing project during National Novel Writing Month. Brunskill wrote the first draft of her book, start to finish, in 30 days.

“And then …,” she said with a long pause, “… I took three years to rewrite it.”

Brunskill then took nearly two more years to let anyone see the book.

“I wouldn’t let anyone read it,” she said. “I was terrified. I didn’t know if it was any good.”

Brunskill finally decided to let one of her neighbors, a retired English professor, read “Waving Backwards.”

“I’m pacing, thinking, ‘She’s not going to like it, she’s not going to like it,’” Brunskill recalled. “She comes running back to my house, saying, ‘Oh, I love it.’ So I think, ‘OK, maybe there’s something there.’”

The book is available at Cadre Shops, the Savannah Visitor Center, Barnes & Noble, and through her publisher, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, at

While “Waving Backwards” is a mystery novel, something else is the heart of the story, according to Brunskill.

“It’s not just an adoptee story because it’s a story about family,” she said. “It’s about finding out who you are, where you come from and what really defines family — adoptive and biological, and friends and people who surround you are all part of the family quilt.”

Sign up for our E-Newsletters