When lightning strikes...
Emma-Louise and Rosie have been friends for life, their bond unshakeable. Both women are on the verge of a new life, a second chance at love and happiness, but the past is about to catch up with each of them.
A story of passion, resentment, secrets, and lies.
I love the cover of Lemongrass Bay and can't wait to read it. Congratulations on your upcoming release.
Where does your inspiration come from for this story?
The inspiration for Lemongrass Bay initially came from a news story I read on the ABC news blog about a man who had been struck by lightning while standing on a beach in Darwin. He survived the lightning strike, but there were very few details about the condition he was in and I found myself churning that over in my mind, so much so, I was compelled to start googling lightning strike victims and it just went on from there.
The story I began to write though, was vastly different to what has ended up being Lemongrass Bay. I had set the original story in Darwin, in a seedy run down apartment block, with only two characters. At around the 20k word mark, I felt the story was depressing and couldn’t envisage making it any less so.
I took a break and put it away, determined to not force anything and consequently waste anymore time on a dead idea. Often when I’m in between projects or taking a writing break, I’ll begin watching a new TV series, and in this instance, I began watching Hart of Dixie, a quirky US comedy-drama set in a small town in the South. About half way through season 2, my mind started ticking over the idea of writing a quirky Australian novel set in a remote coastal town. I had visited Karumba up in the Queensland Gulf with my family the summer before and the location appealed to me as a setting. Having lived in Mount Isa, Queensland, for the last five years, I’m still often struck by that ‘small town feel’ remoteness gives to a town, no matter what its size.
Armed with this fresh inspiration, I returned to my manuscript, plucked out the lightning strike scene I had written, and canned the rest. The story has evolved over the last two years and there was a lot of research undertaken. When a person is struck by lightning, the effect on the body can be profound but also quite individual. Symptoms range and vary greatly, so I needed to find out what effects were plausible when deciding what challenges to bestow on my character who ended up unfortunately being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was lucky enough to pick the brains of a person who has actually been struck by lightning, so that a was terrific opportunity for me in terms of anecdotal knowledge.
There were some legalities of a medical nature that I needed to look closely at and fortunately a local GP was more than happy to assist with those questions as well as shedding some light for me on what being a small town GP is really like. I’m fortunate to work in a high school so examining education in rural communities was made all the more easier, and issues of equity were addressed within the context of my own professional experiences and the data on ‘Closing the Gap’ that exists for anyone in the public to access. Research of a more quirky nature ranged from examining the behaviours of crocodiles to doing a gun versus rifle comparison. In each novel I write, there is always a character who struggles with mental illness. I’ve built up quite a library of resources now, but there’s always something new to uncover, so I never address these issues without delving deeper. I read an excellent memoir on PTSD that shed a light on this illness like nothing I’ve come across before.
There’s so much more to writing a book than simply writing. Personally, I love researching and I don’t think it’s possible to ever know everything so I relish the opportunity to dig deeper. I don’t always use all of the information I uncover, but it’s good to have options. I’d love to turn Lemongrass Bay into a series but haven’t committed to that yet. I’ll see what the readers think and if they demand more, I’m certainly open to it.
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You can visit Theresa on her Blog and keep up with her news. She writes thoughtful and interesting reviews too, especially of Australian women writers's books. I've found some great reads after Theresa has shared her reading!
Thanks for visiting, Theresa, and best wishes for your new release!