Loretta’s Penpals : Letter 7
This week I’m sharing a lovely letter I received from my good friend and fellow Aussie author, Pamela Cook. I love hearing about what inspires other writers and the different ways they approach things. Pam talks about basking in the glow of her first novel and starting the next one a little late. I know how that feels -it’s just one way to make your life more stressful. But here she is out on the other side, looking forward to a nice break and the release of her second book. Well done Pam!
“Essie’s Way” comes out December 1st. Just in time to be added to the pile of books I intend to read before the year is out. It’s a family mystery with a splash of romance. Sounds like just my sort of novel…
Lovely to be chatting to you again, even if not in the flesh.
At the moment I’m taking a break between books, letting myself wallow in some post-editing relaxation while my new book, Essie’s Way is off at the printer. Last week I saw an amazing Australian film, The Turning, a film adaptation of Tim Winton’s short story collection. So beautiful – you must go and see it if you get the chance. I’ve also been catching up on some reading – Mr Wigg, by Inga Simpson. exquisitely written and incredibly moving. Next on my list is The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window – not sure what it’s about but I’ve heard good things and the title is intriguing! Then I’ll just work my way through the TBR pile. I’m also wickedly watching re-runs of some of my favourite shows – like my current addiction, Castle.
On the writing front, the last six months have been a whirlwind of writing, editing and revisions. I began the year still basking in the glow of having my first novel, Blackwattle Lake, published last December, when I should have dived straight into my next project. Fortunately I did have something very rough I’d started a few years back so by the time March rolled around I managed to sit my backside in the chair and come up with a new novel. Note to self: don’t make the same mistake next time. Start writing something soon J
One of the things I love best about writing is the escapism it offers, so while I’m currently escaping inside the pages of other people’s books and through the screen I’m looking forward to starting something new and escaping back into a world of my own creation. Both of my novels have been set on or near the south coast of NSW which is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s wilder and more untamed than the north coast and I love the sense of isolation so many of its beach and bush areas evoke. When I’m writing about one of these places I really feel like I’m there and I hope that’s the feeling I’m creating for my reader too.
I’m really excited that Essie’s Way will be on the shelves on December 1st. Having two books published in the space of one year is a dream come true. This novel is set in a rural area and has romantic elements, like Blackwattle Lake, but it also has a double narrative, with two main characters and a historical thread. The younger of the two characters, Miranda, is about to get married when she discovers her supposedly dead grandmother could be very much alive. She sets off on a road-trip south in search of some answers, not only to the family mystery but to the truth about herself. When she meets Esther, a recluse living in the quiet backwater of Pelican Point, she discovers that life doesn’t always run according to plan.
This novel evolved from some fragments I’d written a few years back. At the time I had no idea how these two characters were connected or what their stories were. When I was researching shipwrecks on the south coast I came across the story of Grace Bussell, a young West Australian woman who rescued some shipwreck survivors on horseback. The image of her plunging into the sea and the bravery that must have taken provided the thread that allowed me to stitch the two women’s stories together. I loved researching the historical aspects of the book, escaping not only in place but in time. Hopefully I can do that again with some future books.
Well, time I signed off. Hope all is going well with your writing and books and I look forward to seeing you again in person somewhere and sometime soon.