So. It hath happened. Wildflower Hill has hit the shelves. My bestie took this photo at the airport, so I have evidence. There’s always an awkward feeling of vulnerability when I have a book published (yes, even after 21 occasions). It’s almost impossible to explain but let me try. Imagine you are at the supermarket, and you look down and realise you are wearing only your underwear. People may be appreciative of you in your underwear, but nonetheless you feel exposed. Later, when you go home, you try not to think about it, but your mind returns to it again and again. What have people seen of you? What do they now know or presume about you, from that moment of exposure?
You may remember Wildflower Hill from such tortured posts as this and this and this. But now it is a real book in the world and real people will read it and they will have their opinions. Oh yes they will. Some of them will write and tell me their opinions, which is always nice if they like the book; but is a form of torture if they don’t (not because I can’t handle criticism, but because the accepted wisdom is that one does not write back snarly emails full of swears) (oh, and I lied: I also can’t handle criticism). Also, there is book promotion to do. This involves being interviewed and having my photograph taken. Do you like having your photograph taken? Yes, well, now imagine that the photographs are printed in public places before you even know whether or not they make you look like a half-witted yet slightly lascivious Amish milkmaid.
All of it makes me want to crawl under a rock and hide, but there is still that little part of me that hopes that people will read my book and like it, and like the people in it. Because for a little while, when I was writing it, they meant an awful lot to me.
In 1920s Glasgow, Beattie Blaxland falls pregnant to her married lover Henry just before her nineteenth birthday. Abandoned by her family, Beattie and Henry set sail for a new life in Australia. But life is not about to follow the plan that Beattie had hoped for and fate will play her a cruel hand… In 2009, London, prima ballerina Emma Blaxland-Hunter is also discovering that life can also have its ups and downs. Unable to dance again after a fall, Emma returns home to Australia to recuperate. But on arrival she is presented with some surprising news – her recently deceased and much-loved grandmother Beattie Blaxland has left her Tasmanian property to Emma. Told through the eyes of a young Beattie Blaxland and a contemporary Emma Blaxland-Hunter, this is an emotionally charged, seductive tale of self-discovery, secrets and surprises.
“evocatively written” – Australian Women’s Weekly
“the reader is helpless to do anything but turn the page” – Bookseller & Publisher Magazine