Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. That's Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)
The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.
The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist.
Wilderness (Post 21)
Wilderness (2008) is the story of Miriam Moses who is running for her life. In remission from cancer, Miriam is beset by her anxious aunt but with no idea how long her reprieve will last, she decides to do something interesting with her life. She's going to run Australia from toe to top. Harry mercury, of Mercury Shoes is her sponsor, and although he's in it for the publicity, he finds himself intrigued by Miriam's will and personality. She is supposed to let him know when she needs a fresh pair of shoes, but she hardly expects Harry to arrive to fit them personally.
As Miriam runs, she slips in and out of stories belonging to other people, all facing dilemmas or seemingly hopeless situations. Their encounters with "the running girl" have profound effects on all of them.
I wrote Wilderness in a four-day burst while staying with an author friend in Sydney. It allowed me to weave in lots of places I'd been, and to play with lots of themes, ideas and arguments. It's a favourite of mine. It was available in epub and paperback but these days I think it exists only in the Kindle edition bookmarked in the link above.
I named the novella Wilderness because wilderness is its major theme. Miriam runs through a physical wilderness and a wilderness of the spirit. Many of the people she encounters face their own personal wilderness and some of it is deadly. I still think this the perfect title for this book, but it is not the best title for finding in a google-search.
As with many books of this century, technology has done uncomfortable things to the plot. No longer do mobile phones behave quite the way Miriam's does. All I can say is the mobile phone I had while writing this story did.