Congratulations on the release of Elegy. It is an amazing book. How would you describe Elegy to perspective readers?
Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Elegy is magical realism – a touch of fantasy and mythology woven into a very contemporary story. It’s a story about love and lust, mateship and family, courage and sacrifice, where the arrival of new girl, Jenny, sets off a series of events too big for the small town setting. In turns funny and sad, I hope it will satisfy readers.
All of the characters are really likeable and most people would easily be able to identify with what is going on in their lives or the character themselves. Do you have a favourite and if so which one and why?
I adore Gabe. Who wouldn’t? He’s the archetypal male hero (deliberately so). Dependable, good looking, and possessing a physical as well as an inner strength that is unmatched. He embodies the mythical Heracles, and his loyalty and love for friends and family are innate. He was so much fun to write and, though it wasn’t my original intention, Elegy became his story as much as it didMichael’s and Cait’s.
I grew up loving retellings of Greek mythology. Elegy's plot is full of Greek Mythology. Have you always loved Greek Mythology and do you have a favourite myth?
Yes, I too grew up on a diet of mythology. Greek, Roman, Persian, Norse and Egyptian. I couldn’t get enough of it. I stuck to mainly Greek myths in Elegy, with a few throw-ins (Egyptian and Persian) and of course the legend of Lancelot and Guinevere. It’s a bit of a mix, but it was important to get the right mix, and not make it too confusing. I hope I’ve managed to do that. My favourite is, of course, the story of Prometheus, because of his selfless act to bring fire to mankind, but really all the myths that are featured in the book are favourites of mine. Which is probably why they’re there!
I grew up in a small farming community like Kincasey where everyone knew everyone else's business even sometimes before they did. Why did you chose a small community setting rather than a city?
Elegy is such a big story, with a lot of big themes, so it seemed right to set it in small town where everything could be magnified. Some of the biggest stories occur in the most insignificant places. Plus, I have a small property in country Victoria, and I wanted to use the opportunity to describe the landscape I love so much.
Your writing is fantastic. Are there any plans for more books being written in the future by you?
Thank you! That’s a lovely compliment. Elegy was the first novel I wrote, but mysecond, Watershed, was actually published in July this year. It’s a very different read, and definitely not YA. I’m taking a bit of a break at the moment – it’s been a very busy time for me – but when I get back into it I’ll be working on the sequel to Watershed. I would love to write another YA book, and hope to do so when commitments and deadlines permit.
Last question. What is your favourite book and why?
I have so many favourites, it’s impossible to choose just one. And, every year, the list just grows. I love The Road, by McCarthy, because the writing is so beautiful. I adore The Ballad of Lee Cotton, by Christopher Wilson, because it’s brilliant and quirky. And I’ve read just about everything written by Ursula Le Guin, because she is, quite simply, one of the greatest storytellers of our time.