If it’s in a word, or in a look. You can’t get rid of The Babadook’.
You are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be.’ Robyn Davidson
Sometimes I play that game where I’m asked the five books that changed my life. Although my choices might change (and really every book has left a small thumbprint on my soul) one work did have an influence on my life when I first read it as a young girl in Tasmania – Robyn Davidson’s Tracks. The descriptions of the Australian outback were so powerful and beautiful. I’d never thought of my own country in quite the same way.
I felt fearful of so many things and it was perfectly obvious that here was some sort of Athena warrior goddess who feared very little, a young woman who in 1977 trekked 1700 miles across the desert from Alice Springs to Western Australia. Of course there are all sorts of symbolic meanings attached to entering a vast, seemingly empty wilderness. The old prophets entered them for clarification and transcendence. Jesus went to fast in a desert. A desert cuts out all the sensory overload. The vastness of the landscape encourages meditation.
But it wasn’t just Robyn’s ballsy guts/madness in choosing to enter the desert with only her camels, her dog, the intermittent visits of National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan and the indigenous Australians she met along her way. It was the authentic raw power of her writing that inspired me.
I was fortunate to see Robyn Davidson speak at the Sydney Writers’ Festival last year on a panel interviewed by Michaela Kalowski with Emile Sherman, the producer of the movie Tracks. Actress Mia Wasikowska, who plays Robyn in the movie, was also in the audience. I intended to write this post shortly after the festival I was so inspired and fired up by the three speakers I saw that year, but I was editing my own book at the time and the deadline was forever looming.
I’ve been thinking again about Robyn Davidson as the movie Tracks is shortly to hit the big screen. Robyn in person, decades after I read her book is every bit as striking as her younger self in the flesh. Elegant, warm and charming,she described herself as an ‘odd-ball’. And I sensed a kindred spirit when she spoke about how she hated being too connected and never carries her mobile phone and hates answering it. It’s always a relief to find someone as odd-ball as yourself. She talked about how she had offers before for Tracks to be made into a move, but she wanted it to be an Australian film. Could I love this woman any more? She spoke about how the journey she took would be impossible these days as social media would be covering every step. She also expressed her concerns for young people these days as the pressure from social media is so intense. And related a very touching story to do with a reunion with her camels in Western Australia many years later. I had no idea that camels were so intelligent, emotional and had memories like elephants.
Robyn Davidson’s early life is gothic involving her mother’s suicide at 46. Robyn is currently writing a memoir about this period of her life. In a recent interview in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend magazine with journalist Amanda Hooton, she spoke about her mother’s death and her struggles over writing the period of her life to avoid the ‘poor pitiful me’ tone.
‘I now think of her as something incorporated into me. I’m very interested in neuroscience: the idea that we have these maps in the brain. I think she’s sort of mapped into me.’
Tracks is a book I would urge every mother to buy their young daughters (or sons) to read as it will hopefully give them a warrior shield in navigating their own desert. It is certainly one I will be encouraging my daughter to read. One aspect of Robyn’s desert trek I loved was that she didn’t do it for fame, or to become some sort of feminist symbol, she did it for the journey itself.
In this fifteen minute interview below with Caroline Baum, Robyn expresses her concern about how the desert has been taken over by the buffel grass introduced from Africa has been drastically altering the herbage for native animals and changing the rich palette of the desert itself.
I never did have the courage to go into the desert alone. But Robyn Davidson’s book Tracks gave me the courage to travel to India on my own.
Prior to reading her book, I wouldn’t have been able to travel to Melbourne solo. My life became richer as a result of her own journey and her ability to express her desert walk with such eloquence. I became a writer – a different type of writer to Robyn Davidson, but one just as inspired by the tone and palette of my own country. It takes courage to embrace a creative life with all of its dips and heights.
I was most grateful I had the chance to say this personally to Robyn Davidson at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. In the next couple of months, I shall post my panels that I experienced with UK writer Kate Mosse and Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Both of these panels were excellent and filled with inspiration so I hope to share them with you.
Here is a link to Robyn’s panel from Sydney Writers’ Festival. My interaction with her comes towards the end.
Yes, Robyn Davidson, you made me feel that I could do anything.
‘Camel trips do not begin or end, they merely change form.’ Robyn Davidson
If you enjoyed this article and found some inspiration, please share with your online friends. Or leave me a comment to know if you’ve read Tracks. Is there a particular book that sparked some courage within you? I would love to hear from you.
Some links to articles on Robyn Davidson of interest:
‘Though a great deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.’
– Thomas Hardy
As I write this on a sunny day in Sydney with dappled light showering our inner-city street, cicadas competing with the traffic noise and overhead planes, gum trees a wash of green against a brilliant blue sky, Angelina Jolie has just finished directing a scene near our house for her new movie Unbroken.
Regular readers will know my fascination with comparative religions. The reason I’m so excited that Hollywood has come to our area is that Angelina is directing a scene in my local church. This church is a big part of our family and has formed the fabric of our lives here for the last decade. My daughter was baptised there and before my father died, he flew over to give me away in my Alice in Wonderland meets Carnaby Street wedding.
In an area bursting with the politically correct/hipster crowd, the church has been a sanctuary to me for years. I’ve seen it go through many changes and several priests, but the current priest has been my favourite for many reasons. The reason I mention Angelina is that it’s proof of how life can bring unexpected twists and miracles in ways you can’t imagine. And how ‘real life’ can be stranger than fiction and any movie. For years we’ve battled with church costs (the roof fell in a few years ago) and in one swoop – thanks to Angelina – those costs have been considerably bumped down. But I could never have expected that’s who would have fixed our church roof. Not even my imagination would have dreamt that scenario.
My daughter went to school yesterday morning with a little piece of paper in her pocket, for an autograph in the unlikely event she bumped into Angelina. She walked past crowds of extras dressed in period costume and the big movie lights trying to spot one person. (She loves her because she has tattoos.) We are relieved that this small brush of celebrity is with a person as inspiring as Angelina. It is heartening to point out photographs of Angelina and Brad dressed up for movie premieres, but then also be able to talk about her humanitarian work and how she has used celebrity and her beauty and talent as a force of good in the world. Everyone that had contact with her raved about how unpretentious, down-to-earth and friendly she was. I was also very delighted to see on the weekend in Sydney she went shopping with her children and bought books from local bookshops – a reminder to all to buy BOOKS this Christmas. As Christopher Marley said: ‘When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink and glue. You give him the possibility of a whole new life.’
And so Angelina Jolie is our little Christmas miracle and if you see Unbroken, know that the church in it has been my oasis of quiet contemplation for the last decade of my inner-city life.
On Monday, 2nd December at 12.30 am I pressed the send button and Currawong Manor went across the city back to Pan Macmillan. I felt enormously depleted, emotional and empty. I’ve loved working with my artists for so long and it’ s always hard to let go of my characters. I’ve spent years in their company. I feel so empty without them all and wonder if anyone will care for them. Where do these characters come from? They come. Sometimes quickly, but sometimes they are furtive and hide themselves behind other characters. Or they are too coy to appear at once, and you know they will come another time and book.
You spend years with the ones that do appear. You grow to know them more intimately than you do most of your neighbours, and friends.
And then they are gone. Released with the SEND button to a waiting editor and publisher in an office across the city and you are left alone, crying with exhaustion and wondering why you push yourself through so much for so many years to meet a being who is as real as a dream.
Divine madness has descended for years – if you are lucky – and then it moves on and you are left feeling abandoned by your own creation.
You sit and wait and hope the muse will bring you another story. You wait and ache and start to spin the web.
I’ve now begun work on my new web. and loving feeling the new characters appear.
Poet’s Cottage continues its tour around Europe and here is the beautiful cover from Dutch publishers HERE Fingers crossed that the Dutch will enjoy my Tasmanian sea-fishing murder mystery. It never fails to excite me to think that our family holiday inspired a book that is now selling internationally.
I also attended the New South Wales SWITCH Library Awards dinner at the Star Room in Darling Harbour, sponsored by Bolinda Audio alongside some of my agent’s authors. Here is a photo of writing friends Belinda Alexandra and Karen Davis.
I travelled to Melbourne for the Sisters in Crime annual Scarlet Stiletto Awards. I can’t enter anymore as I’ve won two shoes (the legal limit!) so this was my first year as a judge. Congratulations to all shortlisted entries and to the winners. You can find a full list of winners HERE.
This evening was the 20th Anniversary of Sisters in Crime at the boho glam Thornbury Theatre and so I was delighted to be a part of the celebrations. Angela Savage wrote a lovely article on the history of the red shoe, A Dagger With A Difference, which you can read HERE.
The beautiful and talented Essie Davis was the host and guest speaker. You may know her as Phryne Fisher in Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, or from many other wonderful parts she has played. I remember Essie from our Hobart days at Rosny College together and so it was a joy to be able to connect with her again. In the photo below you can see her hugging me.
Essie was always a person you knew would be Someone. She claims she was a dag at Rosny but I can vouch she was always super-cool and super-talented. I was also pleased to have the chance to hand her a copy of Poet’s Cottage as when Pearl Tatlow came to me, I often daydreamed over the years if Poet’s Cottage was ever made into a movie, Essie would be perfect to play Pearl. Yes, I know that seems like big dreams, but if Angelina Jolie can pay for our church roof, I can believe in big dreams and miracles. And on that note – I wish for you all the big dreams, miracles and surprising twists in your life that you could NEVER have imagined in the season of light ahead.
And it wouldn’t be a Christmas blog post on Tale Peddler without a gratuitous Johnny Depp photograph.
Thank you for visiting me. Here is the divine Mediaeval Baebes with the glorious We Three Kings.
Love, Light and Peace. May you find the best of the Holy Season within your own heart.
I love September, as in the Southern Hemisphere, we are in Spring. The Sydney air seems to pulsate joy and magical possibilities. I’m on another editing deadline for Currawong Manor, and so updating my blog before I lose myself too much into the threads of my Blue Mountains artists. The rose ladies in my courtyard garden are putting on a colourful, flashy display and creative ideas for more projects are also flowering within me.
I attended the Davitt Awards in Melbourne this month, for which Poet’s Cottage shortlisted. Although I didn’t collect an award, I had an excellent night with my Sisters in Crime and was thrilled to be a part of the audience when Kerry Greenwood received her well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations to all Sisters in Crime below who took out major awards.
Lifetime Achievement Award Kerry Greenwood
Adult Fiction Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute (Maggie Groff, Pan Macmillan)
True Crime The Waterlow Killings (Pamela Burton, Victory)
Children’s and Young Adult Fiction The Tunnels of Tarcoola (Jennifer Walsh, Allen & Unwin)
Best Debut Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute (Maggie Groff, Pan Macmillan)
Reader’s Choice Award Tamam Shud: The Somerton Man (Kerry Greenwood, NewSouth).
I also attended my agent Selwa Anthony’s annual Sassy Awards, always an interesting event. Here are a few snaps from the evening. Unfortunately, I had an infected eye which kept me from rocking the dance floor, but it was fun to catch up with long-time writing friends such as Belinda Alexandra, Ian Irvine, Traci Harding, Stephen Irvine, Anna Romer, Richard Harland. Writing in isolation, the Sassies are a reminder that you’re not working alone, and you are in fact, connected to a larger industry web. Along with an infected eye, Scorpio in Saturn wasn’t benevolent to me. After a few wines with friends, I managed to drop a cup of tea on my laptop. Disaster! Here is a shot of my beloved, covered in rice in a vain attempt to absorb the moisture.
If you are ever suffering from the blues and live in Sydney, I recommend an outing to Luna Park. Take your real child, or your inner-child, and inhale all the exuberant energy and joy that to me represents Sydney. The location by the sparkling harbour ensures your senses are constantly assailed by gaiety and brilliant scenic blue views.
Back to my edit for Currawong Manor. And if you are around for the Newtown Festival, I am appearing with Kate Forsyth in the Writers Tent. More information on that event HERE. Thank you for visiting me. Keep creative and keep sparkling. xx
I was delighted, astounded and totally gobsmacked to discover yesterday that Poet’s Cottage has made the shortlist for the annual Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards.
I wasn’t expecting to make the cut because the formidable 61-book longlist was filled with some amazing talent. But I’m so happy to see Poet’s Cottage shortlisted along with serial-Davitt winner/writing pal Katherine Howell, Sulari Gentill, Caroline Overington, Kathryn Fox, Norelle M Harris, Maggie Groff and Malla Nunn. I’m very thrilled to see my Tasmanian sea-fishing murder mystery alongside such talented Sisters in Crime. Including my old mate, Jen Storer with her Truly Tan book in the Young Adult/Children’s section. My eight year old, Daisy when I told her Truly Tan was nominated, said with a sympathetic expression, ‘Your book will NEVER beat her.’ You can always count on your tribe to cut you down to size. You can see the full shortlist HERE
I was transported back to Stanley, Tasmania, where the wild sea wind and spectacular scenery inspired the story of Poet’s Cottage. I still hear the faint sounds of Pearl’s gramophone playing, feel the cold sea breeze blow Birdie’s hair, and hear the stomp of the Bindi-Eye Man as he treads through Thomasina’s memory trailing damp, rotten seaweed in his wake.
I’m always happy that people have enjoyed reading the tale that whispered itself to me and has clung like the Tasmanian sea-mist for so many years. They were lovely characters to explore and I’m delighted they have made it to the Davitts.
I have included an image I love of Daphne du Maurier outside Menabilly, her sea-fishing ‘cottage’ that inspired Manderley from Rebecca (it’s from the book Daphne du Maurier At Home by Hilary Macaskill) and photos of my own trip to Stanley near the Tasmanian sea. It brings me such joy that local book clubs have gone to Stanley to discover the inspirations that inspired Poet’s Cottage.
Thank you for visiting me and may your story find you. xx
I’ve returned from the mountains after a blissful week with my family. I roughed out some early drafts for my current mystery novel, which is an idea I’ve nursed for a couple of years. I have a title for this one and some early images, so feel very optimistic. My agent was also keen on the idea, so that’s coming together nicely. The mountains was a haven of winter sunlight, air spiked with goodness and the beauty of peace. It’s shocking to experience how differently you feel when your senses aren’t bombarded by constant traffic and aircraft. We bushwalked, slept a lot, read in front of the stove fire, explored the antique shops and it was all heaven. I also caught up with a couple of friends in the mountains including Kim Wilkins aka Kimberley Freeman who was on a research trip for a forthcoming book. It was very difficult to return to the city and the abruptness of a new school term.
I’ve been reading a lot and catching up on books I’ve had on my ‘to-read’ list. The Somnambulist, a truly wonderful Gothic Victorian mystery by Essie Fox. The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly, Citadel by Kate Mosse and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I do plan to do some proper reviews when I get a chance. I’m getting very behind with my reviews for Australian Women Writers.
I’m pleased to see Poet’s Cottage is on the long list for the Davitt Awards for mystery and crime writing. Even more thrilled to see the list had a record number of entries. 63 books have been nominated this year which is a statement that mystery and crime writing is booming in Australian publishing.
And I’m also thrilled to know that book clubs are enjoying Poet’s Cottage. When I get a chance I’m planning on creating a website with a book club section. I was contacted on my Author Facebook page this week by a lovely lady who is taking a walking tour to Stanley this weekend as her book club is reading the book in the nearby town of Wynyard. I couldn’t think of a more spectacular back drop for a book club meeting.
I love this recent Vogue cover featuring Sofia Coppola. Sofia was one of the inspirations behind my character Elizabeth, a photographer in the present-day thread of Currawong Manor. I needed somebody who was powerful, but in a gentle, soothing type of way. I’m a big fan of all of Sofia Coppola’s movies.
I finally caught up with The Great Gatsby (probably the last person in Sydney to see it). I saw it with Artschool Annie and we both relished the painterly interpretation that Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin brought to the book. It made me feel like re-reading The Great Gatsby.
And thank you to all who entered my Giveaway both here and on Facebook. It is now past the full moon and so as promised I have drawn a winner. Congratulations ROBYN JONES. Please PM me your address and I shall post your books to you.
I have been quiet on the blog as I’m on deadline for my latest edit of Currawong Manor but wanted to pop in quickly and announce a giveaway on Tale Peddler.
As I’m so busy at the moment this giveaway will run for a month but I will remind folks weekly and it also gives you more chances to win.
I’ve just returned from Melbourne where I was a guest for Sisters in Crime along with fellow Tasmanian writers Poppy Gee and Livia Day for a panel called Something Rotten in the Apple Isle. Lindy Cameron chaired the panel.
This was a fun night and it was so great to finally meet Poppy and Livia and to be reunited with the Sisters in Crime of Melbourne.
For the evening I read Poppy and Livia’s books and they are both excellent although different in style and setting. All three books are set in Tasmania which is what inspired our panel . Livia’s A Trifle Dead is set in urban and hip Hobart and is a really funny and gripping read. And Poppy’s book is set on the stunningly beautiful East Coast of Tasmania and describes the ripple effect amongst a small community when the body of a dead girl is washed ashore.
We discussed Tasmania as Muse, our own childhoods in Tasmania, some well-known murder cases in Tasmania and how our books were inspired by the landscape. We also touched on motherhood and writing and how difficult it can be to produce work when you also want to be there for your children. Thank you to the audience who braved a chill winter’s evening to hear us speak and also to Sisters in Crime for inviting me to be part of the event. I have shared a few photographs taken at the night on my Instagram. There are two Sisters in Crime in particular the beautiful Leigh Redhead and Amanda Wrangles who always seem to bring out my inner trout pout. Amanda Wrangles is the talented artist behind the beautiful cards in the photo. They are not included in the giveaway but I couldn’t resist showing them off.
But – back to the giveaway. I’m sure you have guessed it by now…
One person will win a signed copy of our three books and so a complete set of Something Rotten in the Apple Isle books. This competition is open world wide and so if you’re overseas and have been longing for a print version of one of our books you now have a chance to win ALL THREE. It makes a unique and lovely gift for the crime and mystery reader in your life.
And it’s super easy to enter! To be eligible to win – either do one of the following:
leave a comment below this post to let me know you would like to be placed in my Magic Sorting Hat
leave a comment on my personal or Author Facebook page
leave a comment on my Twitter message regarding the giveaway
leave a comment on my Good Reads giveaway. (As soon as I figure out how to work a Good Reads giveaway.)
AND if you SHARE the competition on your social networking sites and let me know you have shared, you get an extra chance!
AND every week when I remind if you SHARE AGAIN you get an extra chance in my Magic Sorting Hat.
I have loads of things I want to blog about including my impressions of the Sydney Writers’ Festival but for now back to the edit.
Thank you for visiting me,
From the beautiful and talented Maple Bee a song for all my Mamma friends for Mothers Day. xx
This is a review for The Australian Women Writers Challenge which you can read more about HERE. In the coming year I plan to review a host of female Australian writers, so watch this space. I always buy books from Australian writers in the popular fiction genre and they tend to form a tower in my room. It’s difficult to find time to read them with all the research reading required for my own books, not to mention my Magic Hat Bookclub, so The Australian Women Writers Challenge is an opportunity for me to lessen that tower of books.
For my first review I went with Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper.
First a disclaimer:
I’ve known Kate Morton as a writing colleague for years and we share the same agent. Along with many other writers and readers we also share a love of parallel timeline stories, mysteries, Enid Blyton, Barbara Vine and Daphne du Maurier. And so virtually any story Kate creates is going to be my cup of tea.
I love the cover design. It’s a gorgeous image and I had to look twice to check it wasn’t Kate herself.
The production team did a spectacular job with the end papers, which are reminiscent of a Persephone book (another thing I share with Kate is a love of Persephone books). And The Secret Keeper even had a brief Peter Pan mention.
I also love the title which lets you know exactly what this book is about. It also fits in nicely with Kate’s previous titles in its rhythm.
This is a big book. I had to cull several books to fit it on my shelf but I was prepared to do so because the cover design is so lovely.
I finished reading this book on a rainy Sunday night which of course is the perfect weather for a story such as this.
It’s always strange to read an author you know as you have to left go of your relationship to slip into the story, but as usual Kate lured me swiftly in to her web of parallel worlds of 1940s Blitz London, the smaller Australian thread in Tambourine Mountain and the present day/1960s and 2011 strands.
The book opens with a cracking scene as sixteen-year-old Laurel attempts to uncover the mystery behind why her mother stabbed a stranger to death as she looked on from her tree house. You always get a very strong visual sense when reading Kate’s books, which no doubt her drama training helped her develop.
I did spot the twist very early on, which is not Kate’s fault. It was more to do with so many people revealing online there was a twist and so I was on the hunt for it. If I’m going to be picky (and scratching hard for something here), the siblings never felt as developed as the leading characters. I kept getting confused with the siblings who weren’t in it a lot. And the characters seemed a bit too Downton Abbey ‘nice’, but that is also the broad appeal of Kate’s work as well.
In this book Kate seems to be having fun with us. The words play games and bounce along at times.
Kate’s skill is bringing history to life in a ‘can’t put the book down’ way. You catch glimpses of what it was like to live through 1940s Blitz London. I have been reading These Wonderful Rumours! A Young Schoolteacher’s Wartime Diaries 1939-1945 by May Smith.
This also gives you an insight into exactly what it was like for people living when normal life was ‘sort of as usual’ except bombs were going off down the road. One thing I really got from These Wonderful Rumours! was the effects of disrupted sleep from being summoned to air raid shelters in the middle of the night. And do you go coat shopping or to the cinema if they are sounding the raids? I can’t imagine living under the stress of this for years. I would highly recommend his book for the chirpy school teacher’s diaries of her war years.
But back to Kate and The Secret Keeper. I admire Kate’s elegant use of words and phrases which create such evocative pictures in your mind, such as on page 185 when the very-likeable Jimmy tries on his father’s suit. He reflects that his father ‘had always seemed such a giant but now it was possible he had merely been a man.’ Such a poignant world revealed in such few words.
And the vivid description on page 188 where Jimmy’s photographs reveal world of ‘private places suddenly made public’ of people’s homes who have been bombed.
The team leader, Mrs Waddingham, is described in Chapter 14 as having lips as tight as a ‘dachshund’s arse’. A glorious image which made me laugh out loud.
And so I finished the Secret Keeper as the rain pelted down outside with a satisfied sigh. I stroked that lovely book cover tenderly and slowly adjusted myself back to my ‘real world’ of Sydney 2013, realising I had to get ready for the school run but reluctant to bid farewell to her characters just yet.
And that is exactly how a great book and story should make you feel. Like many people around the world I am eagerly anticipating Kate’s next book.
On page 246, one of Jimmy’s photographs is of a little girl of 3 or 4 wearing an enormous pair of borrowed bloomers, an adult cardigan and tap shoes. She taps a little dance as she waits for the family who were never going to arrive to take her home. Jimmy’s images are said ‘to record individual tragedies such as a little girl losing her entire family which would otherwise be swept as easily as dust beneath history’s carpet.’
Kate’s The Secret Keeper also reminds us through a ‘can’t put it down’ good story of the human side of the Blitz. I was reminded of The Secret Keeper when I saw this recent quote on Good Reads.
Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this. Dave Eggers
I gave The Secret Keeper four stars out of 5.
I was contacted on my Facebook by the ‘real-life’ gardener of Stanley who broke the sad news to me that Marguerite Eldridge (Meg) died in Tasmania last week. Her funeral service was today.
Readers of Poet’s Cottage will know that this creative, gentle lady formed one of the early inspirations for my character of Birdie Pinkerton (although I should point out, so as not to sully Marguerite’s reputation in any way, that Birdie rapidly took off into her own character).
It was Meg’s husband Lin who first told me the name of the cottage – once his cottage – that I felt so drawn to, which gave me the title for my book. He was kind enough to invite me to their home overlooking the sea, where I met Marguerite.
Although my time with this inspiring lady was very brief, I felt a strong bond with her which was intensified through reading her truly delightful self-published books on her life in the postcard pretty sea-fishing village. Memoirs such as Marguerite’s are invaluable because from the accounts of ’ordinary’ people you get a true rhythm and beat of a time and place. Her books were a great help in adding colour to my novel Poet’s Cottage.
Marguerite was kind enough to write me several much treasured cards and notes. When I last saw her she still had her twinkle, and her pretty face was as youthful as ever, but she did confide to me that she hoped she would still be alive the next time I visited Stanley.
I think this lovely spirit, who never saw the need to leave the great beauty of Stanley, would be surprised if she knew how much she had meant to me. It does give me some small joy to know that through my own novel, Poet’s Cottage, Marguerite’s books live on as well.
Marguerite’s book, Stories Of Stanley Tasmania, is definitely worth hunting down and reading if, like me, you love stories of daily life in small communities. Marguerite was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2011 for her Artistic services to Stanley.
My most sincere condolence’s to Marguerite’s partner, Lin, and her family and friends.