Home' Scoop : Scoop 69 Spring 2014 Contents 64
SEASON AHEAD books
Lost and Found is WA author Brooke Davis’s first novel,
and one that is taking the literary world by storm.
What was the inspiration for Lost & Found?
About seven years ago, my mum died suddenly in a freak accident.
Before she died, I had never felt the kind of grief where you don’t
know if you’re going to be okay or not. After she died, I was trying to
understand how to live without her, and how to live with the knowledge
that this was how life worked: that anyone I loved and depended on
could die at any moment. Lost & Found became my way of working
through my own thoughts on what it means to grieve.
It’s so hard for first-time authors to get noticed, how did you do it?
I wrote Lost & Found as part of a PhD at Curtin University, and when
a bookseller friend in Perth read the book she told a Hachette Australia
Books account manager friend, who took it to head office. Within
a couple of weeks, I had an offer. Suddenly I had an agent, and the
contract was negotiated and agreed upon. It was a bit of a whirlwind.
Lost & Found deals with loss and grief in an often light-hearted
way. Was this something you set out to do? And if so, why?
I’m interested in the concept of grief not as a process that begins and
ends and is only about sadness, but as a part of life, and something
that we have to work out how to live with. Grief is a result of feeling so
strongly for someone that your world feels obliterated when they’re
gone, and, yes, it’s incredibly, heartbreakingly, ridiculously sad, and
I would never want to make light of those feelings. But I also believe
there’s something beautiful in that that needs to be celebrated.
Your book has already sold to over 20 countries, why do you think
this unmistakably Australian story is resonating globally?
Perhaps it’s got something to do with the universality of human grief:
that if we’re on earth long enough to develop meaningful relationships
with people, we will grieve. Really, I just hope they all get my jokes!
You have worked as a bookseller for some time – how has
that experience assisted you now as an author promoting
your own book?
I feel pretty lucky that I get to sell my own book. My favourite
customers are the ones who hold up Lost &
Found and ask, ‘Have you read this?’ and
I reply, ‘Kind of. I wrote it, does that count?’.
Or they bring it to the counter to buy it, and
I say, ‘Would you like me to sign that for you?’
and it takes them a moment to realise that
I’m not just a crazy person scribbling on all
the books in the shop.
by Kate McCaffrey, Fremantle Press, $19.99
For most, the final year of high school is stressful
enough. Add a car accident and an unplanned
pregnancy and it becomes almost unthinkable.
Kate McCaffrey creates a strong lead character,
who shows young adult readers that courage, belief
in yourself and confidence in your decisions will
make you happy in the end. The story tackles one
of the most difficult decisions a young girl can face,
leaving you asking: what would you do?
New offerings from WA writers and publishers.
Swimming to the Moon
by Robert Drewe, Fremantle Press, $29.99
An astute writer with that Wintonian knack
for recalling through a nostalgic lens WA
idiom and landscape, Robert Drewe returns to
a time and place long since gone the way of
battered milkshake tins, Sunday drives and keys
parties. The tales will mostly resonate with readers
born or raised in Australia during an era when
primary schoolers walked a mile to school, slept
in unlocked family cars at parties, and gagged
on sun-warmed government milk.
by Robert Schofield, Allen & Unwin, $29.99
Unable to shake off the stigma of his involvement in
a gold robbery, Gareth Ford finds himself pursued
across the outback by a pair of thugs while heading
inexorably towards a confrontation with the woman
who betrayed him. Picking up where his first novel,
Heist, left off, Robert Schofield’s sequel stands up
reasonably well in isolation, but is more satisfying
as companion piece to the original, developing his
lead characters well and laying the groundwork for
more adventures in the future.
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