With Happy Ever After ready to go back to my editor I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the story and its setting.
Kate and Neil Spence met at Circular Quay after the Hiroshima Day march in August 1985. Kate was marching, Neil was not. It was love almost at first sight.
And they all lived happily ever after…or did they?
Over thirty years have passed, their children have grown and Kate and Neil have gone from being happily married to being happily separated. That is until Neil asks for a divorce – and another wedding brings up feelings that both had thought were long gone.
What’s it about?
Happy Ever After is a love story, but more than that it’s a story about love. It’s a story about how love changes, grows and is challenged over the years. It’s about the curve balls life throws us just when we’re ready to begin realising our dreams. It’s about living the better or for worse and richer and poorer thing and it’s about coming out the other side. It’s about family, friends, second, third and even fourth chances for a happy ever after. Mostly though, it’s about love.
Happy Ever After is set mostly on Sydney’s north shore. We also visit Queenstown and the Milford Track – in the rain when the mountains look like they’re crying silvery streams of tears.
A starring role goes to my favourite tree in Sydney’s Botanical Gardens. It’s the Moreton Bay Fig that sits above the Opera House. From here you can see across to Fort Denison. I’ve eaten many a sandwich under the shade of that tree.
Where did the idea come from?
I was listening to some of my old protest style music from the mid 80’s while I was cooking one Saturday afternoon– songs by Goanna and Shane Howard, Redgum and Midnight Oil. The music took me back to my first year at uni. Although I wasn’t involved in student politics, there was a rumour going around that Midnight Oil might be playing at the end of the annual Hiroshima Day march. So I marched…well, sort of. To be honest, it started off as a lark but got a tad boring and I bailed out about halfway down George Street.
Not that it mattered – Midnight Oil weren’t there. They were touring the US at the time. I got to see them later that year at a Wilderness Society concert for the Daintree Rainforest.
Of course, these days rumours like that couldn’t get properly started, but back then we didn’t have social media, the internet or mobile phones. Back then it was harder to stay in touch if you fell out of it. I had fun having Kate find coins and a pay phone to call and let her parents know she’d be home late.
Anyways, it started with the music and, just a week later Happy Ever After became my 2017 NanoWrimo project.
Happy Ever After will be published later this year. Sign up to my newsletter for publication dates and pre-order deals.