A Fair Wind trilogy
Fran's first published novel, was based on a true story told to her by Lucy Purcell about her great grandparents' arrival at Geelong, in the newly minted colony of Victoria. Their bags were thrown on the beach, there being no wharf in 1850s. When counted, one was missing, so the husband went back to the ship to find it. The wind changed and the captain, eager to leave before losing crew to the goldfields departed. The man was still on board, his wife stranded on the beach. How did they manage: a fragile artist thrown back to sea, his wife left to cope in a turbulent environment!
This story begged to be written and was self published as The Other Side of the Wind by Flying Pony Press. The limited edition print run sold out and was reprinted. The books include Fran's illustrations - linocuts and drawings.
Readers asked "what happens next, so a sequel Winds of Rebellion brought events to Victoria's only armed conflict – the Eureka Rebellion in December 1854. This is told from the perspective of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
This series was half intended to be a trilogy and when readers again asked 'what happens next' work began exploring the role of key and ordinary Victorians in Federation and An Imperfect Calendar was born.
However, in the fiction business you never know what those characters will do. A tragedy occurred and the story did not reach the period of Australian history when Federation occurred as intended.
A lonely child is shuffled around three homes. No one will talk about her mother or father though she knows the latter is alive. Edward Anderson is walking away from grief. But he is drawn back home with a cache of drawings featuring Victoria's diverse landscape.
To find out what happened and if there is a trilogy busting fourth book:
order any or all of the books
(RRP $25ea plus $7 p/p within Australia):
This book involved as much research on the minutiae of life in the 1860s as did the others. Was fortunate to spent time at the NGV in the costume department among frocks of the era, thanks to the curator.
February 24, 2019 at Westernport Festival. Pictured are editor Michael Hast with author (left) and author signing books (right). Delighted to find that new readers of the Geelong novels were keen to have all three in the series.