What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Maggie Bolitho grew up in Victoria BC Canada, where she spent her childhood flying under the radar, constructing alternate universes, and wishing to be somewhere over the rainbow. Shortly after her 17th birthday she set out to see the world. Eventually, she moved on to Australia.
* While living Down Under and exploring the outback, Maggie started writing fiction. Her adult short stories have been published in various anthologies in Australia, the US, and Canada. She has written for Quills Canadian Poetry magazine, her YA novel LOCKDOWN was published in 2014, and in 2015 she published OUTBACK PROMISE.
Today Maggie Bolitho will be talking about how she became a writer and what inspired her in regard to the story she's promoting.
The road to becoming a writer
* I was a story spinner from my earliest memories, creating elaborate worlds into which I escaped frequently. My childhood universes were usually populated by five or six dogs, a cat or two, any number of horses and a talking monkey. Often I wrote long lists of character names in the back of old exercise books, along with maps and drawings to show who lived where.
* In my twenties I took a couple of stabs at creative writing but lacked the confidence to persevere. I came to regard my storytelling compulsion as something even more private than my sex life. Better not tell anyone about it, because they’d either laugh or recoil in horror.
* Eventually I met a woman online who encouraged me to try my hand at fiction. A published author herself, she dragged me out of the closet and set me loose on the world. V.M. Caldwell died in 2013 and never saw my first novel, but I take comfort knowing that she had read the draft and knew publication was in the works.
My current work
* My 2015 novel, Outback Promise started as a tiny grain of sand, carried back to my Sydney home after three months in the outback in 2005. During that trip I wrote daily journals, over 100,000 words in total, about the places I saw and the people I met.
* The outback made me feel as insignificant as dust. At the same time I felt connected to that ancient land in a deep, primal way.
* At the Devil’s Marbles (the area known to the traditional owners as Karlu Karlu) I encountered notes about the Aboriginal dreamings. They told of the Kwerreympe spirits that live in the caves under the rocks and lure children away from their families. The thought of a lost child was planted and years later I found Ros, Grady, and their cherished son, Cadel.
* It took a long time for the story to come into focus. At first, the characters were a faraway mirage on a desert highway. For eight years I worked on the book and shelved it, over and over again, before it was ready for submission.
* The vastness of the outback was a compelling inspiration – how it heals and tears asunder, all at the same time. It’s a perfect place to bare one’s soul, to shed pain and grudges.
* In 2015, my husband and I returned to Australia for an extended visit. I did my final edits while travelling that vast continent. It felt like Ros and Grady were there with me.
* A few months ago, Ros discovered Grady's affair.
* With their marriage fast disintegrating, they decide to take a three-month camping trip into the heart of Australia to try and mend deep wounds and rekindle the fire that once fused them close. This trip will decide the fate of their relationship: do they have enough strength and enough love left to accept what life has put them both through?
* But trust and forgiveness don't come easily, and Ros and Grady have to navigate not only the wilderness of the Outback and the challenges of other travellers, but also the chasm of grief and bitterness they have sunk into over the last six years. Their only hope for survival lies in facing the secrets they have both tried to keep buried ...
* His small voice, almost forgotten now, jarred me awake that morning. ‘How do bees get to school?’
* Forty pounds of energy scrambled onto the bed.
* ‘Who’s asking me these questions so very early?’ I surfaced from a dream fog.
* ‘Mummy! It’s sunny!’ Cadel wedged himself between his father and me. His breath smelled like apple juice.
* ‘Okay, so how do bees get to school?’
* ‘On the school buzz.’
* His infectious giggle filled the room. I peered out at the bright blue sky and abandoned all hope of sleeping in. We said we’d take him hiking with his new backpack if the weather was good.
* Grady rolled over and grunted. His wavy dark hair hung in his eyes as he tried to look stern. ‘Lady Rosalyn, do you know this little person?’
* ‘No, Sir Grady, I do not.’
* ‘Should we make him walk the plank?’
* ‘It’s me, Daddy.’
* ‘What? When?’ Grady shook his head. ‘Me? Me who?’
* ‘It’s me! Cadel!’
* ‘I don’t remember giving permission for you to come aboard. Are you sure you’re not a pirate? I’d better give you the pirate test.’ He lifted Cadel’s pyjama top and blew a raspberry on his soft stomach.
* Cadel shrieked and flailed his small arms.
* I slid out of bed and left the two of them, wrestling and twisting the sheets into knots.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Maggie Bolitho will be awarding an eCopy of Outback Promise to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway