Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Soul Mate author Elizabeth Preston talking about her life-changing journey across the Tasman Sea.
I grew up in New Zealand, the child of British immigrant parents. From the age of fifteen, I began dreaming about writing a book. The few manuscripts I attempted died in my bottom drawer – thank goodness.
I began my working life in an advertising agency, buying time slots for ads on television. But the commercial business world really wasn’t for me, so after a few years I threw that in. From there I went to Teachers College and trained to become a kindergarten teacher.
I raised my young sons, taught on and off and attempted to write children’s books at night.
Then, out of the blue, my husband got offered a job in Sydney. They gave us three weeks to up-sticks and relocate the whole family to Australia. The move changed the direction of my life.
I was in a new country, a country I instantly loved, and best of all, I now had the time I needed to pursue my passion. I enrolled in a university course in creative writing and wrote when I could.
A few years ago, we visited far north tropical Queensland, and there, in a museum, we watched a film clip about triumphant British settlers in the 1880s. It was very much a telly-ho style thing that showed the brave settlers hacking their way through the rainforest, battling snakes and malaria, and hostile Aborigines. All I could think about were the poor Aboriginal folk. Bingo – my main character (half native, half white Hunter) came to life.
I wrote his story into a novella, published on July 9. My advice for anyone wanting a second act is simple – do it now.
This is my favourite quote: Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to.
In 1889, the Northern Australian Rainforests are cruel and prejudiced places to live.
Hunter, born from an English mother and a native Australian father, does not fit well with either group. He is an outcast. The new English settlers fear and demonise him because he is dark skinned, unpredictable and frighteningly strong.
Long ago, Hunter survived his mother’s murder. An Aboriginal witch doctor found the dying boy and used tribal magic to save his life. Hunter grew fearfully strong, but this gift of ferocity and strength came at a cost.
Now, as an adult, he wanders the rainforest at night venting his anger and frustrations. He is not safe to be around.
But wayward Alice thinks otherwise.
Where to find Elizabeth…
Thank you for sharing your journey and lovely pictures. BTW…The storyline for The Outcasts sounds intriguing. Best of luck with sales.