Waving Backwards


THE BOOK: Waving Backwards.Waving Backwards


THE AUTHOR: V.L. Brunskill.

THE PUBLISHER: Southern Yellow Pine Publishing (SYP) Publishes fiction and non-fiction books that are set in the South, or written by Southern writers.

SUMMARY: Imagine not knowing who you are, until you find yourself in a statue 800 miles from home. Waving Backwards is the story of intensely passionate and fiercely independent New York college student Lara Bonavito’s unforgettable journey of self-discovery in sigh-worthy Savannah, Georgia. Adopted into an abusive and impoverished home, Lara’s quest to find her roots lands her in the Southern jewel’s historic district.

A vivid cast of characters help her unravel clues found in a cryptic letter hidden in the family bible for two decades. “The baby’s roots are with the Southern lady who waves forever.” With the help of mischievously handsome trolley tour guide Robert Taylor, Kipling-quoting florist Abel Bloom, and comically outspoken Louisiana beauty Susan Fletcher, Lara uncovers family secrets wrapped in the mystique of Savannah’s Waving Girl statue.

Waving Backwards is a coming-of-age quest that reveals the healing power of family bonds and maternal love. Themes of this novel include- adoption, travel, family, love, and finding yourself.

V.L. BrunskillTHE BACK STORY: I always wanted to write a novel. As a former music journalist (Creem, Metronome, Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix) and tech writer, writing has always been a part of my life. However, writing 65,000 words is significantly more daunting than penning 1000 word feature articles. I wrote the first draft of Waving Backwards in 30 days, and spent the next three years immersed in rewrites. It was tough for me to hand my manuscript over to the first reader. Writers are notoriously self-critical, and I am no exception.

The idea for Waving Backwards was born after I found my birth parents. I was reunited with them in 1991, following a daunting 13-year search. I moved south to be closer to them. That experience inspired me to start the blog http://www.adoptionfind.wordpress.com, where I offer resources for adoptees who would like to find their biological parents.

Waving Backwards shares what it feels like to be an adoptee in search. Adoptees have no source to pin themselves to. They don’t see resemblance when they look in the mirror. They are recast without any idea who starred in the story that came before.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Looking back is required to move forward. Humans have a natural tendency to look at what came before (ancestors/history) in order to define themselves. In Waving Backwards, Lara waves backwards both literally and figuratively.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Waving Backwards is what the publishing world calls a cozy mystery. However, the fact that the story is set in sigh-worthy Savannah brings romance and historical significance to the tale. Waving Backwards is a fast-paced read that takes you from New York to Savannah. As readers tag along on Lara’s quest to find her family, they also learn the story of Savannah’s Waving Girl Florence Martus, who waved at every ship that arrived in Savannah for 44 years. There are unexpected twists and turns on every page. Several sleepless readers have told me that once you start, you can’t put the book down.


“Brunskill’s novel is certainly about “Mama and them,” but in Waving Backwards the theme of “Mama and them” gets taken places that readers have likely never considered.

“The story of Lara Bonavito’s search for and discovery of her family is the meat of this novel, and Brunskill does a fine job of conveying the mixture of emotions the success of such a search can bring to one who discovers and reunites with one’s birth family. For all the ancillary complications of the plot, how Lara is able to accept, process, and move forward from the powerful experience of finding her roots is what one should read Waving Backwards for. All that other stuff – romance, mystery, charm, and history – that’s just Savannah being Savannah.” — Scholars and Rogues

Waving Backwards is a compelling reminder of the need we all feel to know who we are and where we came from, and when that quest comes with a cryptic clue, a memorable romance and the charm only a city like Savannah can provide, we rush along with determined Lara Bonavito to uncover the ultimate truths.  — John Warley, Author of A Southern Girl, Bethesda’s Child, and The Moralist.

In her debut novel, music journalist to the stars, V.L Brunskill, intricately weaves the very complex issues of a modern day Northern adoption-seeker into the historical quilt and Southern charm of a place I now call home. Brava! Waving Backwards: A Savannah Novel, has something for every reader.  — Bertice Berry, PhD., Best-Selling Author of Redemption Song and The Ties That Bind

AUTHOR PROFILE:  V.L. Brunskill has been a professional writer for twenty years. She ditched journalism class after landing her very first interview with the late, great, punk icon Joey Ramone. As a national music journalist, V.L. has written for publications such as Metronome magazine, CREEM, The Boston Globe, and Boston Phoenix. From hundreds of rock star interviews to rocking ions, V.L. went on to become a technical writer in the semiconductor and IT fields.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on Christmas Eve, and adopted after seven months, V.L. was reborn in 1991, when she was reunited with her biological parents. She moved south to be closer to both. V.L. assists other adoptees to search on her blog adoptionfind.wordpress.com V.L. lives in Savannah, Georgia, with her bass-player husband, above-average daughter, and delightfully bad dog.

“Searching is difficult. Finding is life-altering.” -V.L. Brunskill.

AUTHOR COMMENTS:  I am an adoption rights advocate and have found that most people are not aware of the antiquated adoption laws that continue to rule American adoptees. I would just like to touch upon the topic here as means of enlightenment.

As a New York state adoptee, I am not allowed to obtain a copy of my original birth certificate (OBC). I found my biological family, and all of my parents agree that I should have my records. Yet, I am refused access. Why? Because adoption law in most American states requires that records remain sealed ‘in the best interest of the child.’

Well, as most adult adoptees will tell you, we are no longer children. Records pertaining to our births are our property. Adoptees should have the same civil rights as every other American citizen. An un-amended birth certificate should be provided to every adoptee upon reaching the age of eighteen.

To learn more about the fight for equal access, please visit http://www.bastards.org/.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://www.amazon.com/Waving-Backwards-Savannah-V-L-Brunskill-ebook/dp/B00ZZ1F3IS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=#reader_B00ZZ1F3IS LOCAL OUTLETS:

* Cadre Shops: Richmond Hill, GA US HWY 17

* Visit Savannah Gift Shop (Upstairs Shop) Savannah Visitor Information

* E. Shaver Book Sellers: Savannah, GA

* Barnes & Nobles: Savannah, GA

* Sandfly Market Place: Savannah, GA

* The Book Lady Bookstore: Savannah, GA

* CJs Hallmark, kidway Village Walk, Savannah, GA

* Arts & Crafts Emporium, River Street, Savannah, GA

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing.

PRICE: $14.95 or, on Kindle, $4.99.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Email vbrunskill@gmail.com Blog- adoptionfind.wordpress.com Twitter- @RockMemoir Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/vlbrunskill Amazon author page- amazon.com/author/vlbrunskill

Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

2 thoughts on “Waving Backwards”

  1. Definitely a book for my “To Read” list. After my mother passed away, I discovered a file in court records indicating she may have been adopted. After proceeding through many forms, emails and phone calls, the search came to an end, unsatisfied. Most of the records from the 1920s seem vague. Now I search other ancestry sources for some sort of confirmation. The system does need upgrading. It appears your own personal experiences have culminated in a very interesting novel. Can’t wait to read it!


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