The Fair Wind series
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. The travellers' 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 avoid losing crew to the goldfields departed. The husband 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 twice. 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 so when readers again asked 'what happens next' work began exploring the role of key and ordinary Victorians in Federation and An Imperfect Calendar began. In the fiction business you never know what those characters will do. The story does not reach the period of Australian history of Federation as intended. A lonely child is shuffled around three homes. No one will talk about her mother or father though Polly 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. Then we need to know how the child survived in this fractured environment and the trilogy becomes a series. Who knows how it will end...
Book four, The Coriolis Effect now available. Order the books:
(RRP $25ea plus $7 p/p within Australia): email email@example.com
Also download via Amazon or order from Peterson's Bookshop, Hastings
Oud Player, illus book four. top left. Right: new book arrives.
Below: Book launch
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.