Prospect, Ky., author Chambers
pens book about Rose Island
She weaves history of amusement park
into plot of novel
PROSPECT, Ky. (March 2018) – Three years ago, Prospect, Ky., resident Terry Chambers decided to write a screenplay for a movie. The end result was not a movie script after all but rather a novel that introduces readers to Oldham County’s Rose Island and its history.
Initially, Chambers submitted her screenplay to Gill Holland, an award-winning movie producer and president of The Group Entertainment LLC.
“He really liked it and suggested I novelize my story in order to move it into the media mainstream,” said Chambers.
The idea to write a screenplay came to her in summer 2015 while on a girl’s vacation in Akumal, Mexico.
“After a lifetime of loving everything there is to love about Hollywood, and with no prior background in the art or technique of writing a screenplay, I decided to write a movie, just because,” she said. Armed with a yellow legal pad and pen in hand, she “began the task of creating my first blockbuster movie.”
But after submitting it, she took the advice of Holland and turned it into a novel in the hopes of attracting a lot of attention to her work. By winter 2017, “Rose Island” (the book based on the screenplay by the same name) became a reality.”
The story revolves around “Claire Christiansen, a spoiled debutante from Louisville, her friend Lutticia Smailes, a gal from the hollers of Hazard, and the men who come into and go out of their lives,” said Chambers.
There are many mysteries that swirl around the now deserted amusement park, Rose Island. Chambers has woven countless plot twists and turns which take place in the current era and times past. The novel relates the retelling of local legends surrounding Louisville, Utica, Ind., the Falls of the Ohio and the tribe of the moon-eyed White Indians.
A launch date of Feb. 1 was set for “Rose Island, An Almost Accurate Account of Days Gone By.” The publisher is Amber Light Publishing, located in Prospect. Digital prints will be carried by Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
This work of fiction is “heavily based on real places, events and historical characters in and around Kentuckiana,” Chambers said.
• For more information, visit www.terrychambers.net or her Facebook page, Terry Chambers – Storyteller. To schedule a book signing contact the publisher at (502) 292-3077 or visit www.amberlightpublishing.com.
She moved from St. Louis to the St. Matthews area in 1980 and then to Prospect in the early 1990s to be near a horse she boarded on Henry Wallace’s farm on Rose Island Road.
“During the 30-some years I’ve been in Kentucky, I have frequented many of the locations I talk about in my book and have studied their local histories as well.”
For eight years, Chambers lived aboard the Family Jewel houseboat at Rose Island Yacht Club. It was moored across from where the old amusement park sat on the Ohio River. As a boater, she had heard lots of stories about the park over the years. The ruins of the rock pillars that marked the river entrance as one floated by could still be seen.
Chambers is best known in the area as co-owner of Prospect Jewelers. Together with her partner, Rob Prince, they opened the full service retail store in 2000.
In 2010, she and Prince assisted a documentary film crew that visited Rose Island to get some footage of the area for their project. “It was then that the idea for a story based on the park began to foment,” she said.
“It genuinely picked up speed after two local riverloreans, Dana Olson and Tom Chapman, made an appearance at a Louisville Sail and Power Squadron meeting and talked more about the park’s history and legends surrounding it.”
Chambers acts as Communications Officer of the Louisville Sail and Power Squadron.
Chambers said that countless hours of research went into this project. She used a variety of techniques that included viewing Chapman’s video, “Rose Island, On A Summer’s Day” and personal interviews with locals who knew about the many legends that are included in the book.
She also read Olson’s “The Legend of Prince Madoc and the White Indians,” and conducted thousands of Internet searches that included information about political and social issues during the 1920s and 1930; the style of clothing worn, cars driven and food that was eaten. In addition to creating the art of the story, “I was simultaneously teaching myself the ins and outs of how to ‘technically’ write a novel. For that, I hit the Internet with YouTube, e-book downloads and even snuck in a Master Class program with (screenwriter) Aaron Sorkin.”
Chambers said she enjoys researching the history of the times and places for her stories and already has a prequel to “Rose Island” in the works. It is about the legend of the White Indians, as well as a mystery and romance set in and around her hometown of St. Louis during the early to mid-1900s.
The book contains only one photo, a drawing of a map that was actually used by the amusement park during its heyday.
She has spent many hours researching and tracking down owners of old photographs in order to use them legally, a process that is “very cumbersome, even in this day and age of the internet. Because of that, I have chosen to simply use the map in the book so the reader is given the basis to see the layout of the park as they are transported through the story.”
Chambers is a member of the GIA Alumni Association (an authority on diamonds, colored stones and pearls); a business graduate of Bellarmine University, past president of the Prospect Goshen Rotary Club, a current director and past president of the Prospect Area Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the Prospect Area Play Readers community theater.
She is also Director and Secretary of Rose Island Yacht Club and a member of Hunting Creek Country Club and the Prospect Code Enforcement Board.
She is planning to give a local book signing at Hunting Creek Country Club on March 8, and Prospect Goshen Rotary Club on March 22.
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