Mangrove Mystery (Post 68)
Mangrove Mystery (2002), like Kayak! (Post 59) was inspired by a boat trip with my son. The first was a kayak trip down the Mersey River, which flows from its source in the Central Plateau down to the mouth at Devonport on the NW Coast. The Mersey is a typical temperate river, running through gorges, forming rapids, running low in summer and sometimes flooding in spring and winter. At at least one point it divides into two streams embracing Pig Island a few km upstream from its mouth, but the streams reconnect in a wide, salty waterway running into Bass Strait. This river is one I know well, and subconsciously I thought all rivers behaved as it does. I discovered my error when I went to stay with my son while he was stationed in Townsville in Far North Queensland. He took me out in a motor dinghy on one of the rivers. It was utterly different from the river at home, being muddy, mangrovy, mudskippery and crabby. Weirdest of all, it wasn't a single stream of the type I was familiar with, but a mass of interconnecting streams. Weirdest of all, there was no way to tell which way was upstream and which way was down because the river was tidal and the mangroves so thick we couldn't get any bearings. Therefore, we did something I would have thought utterly impossible; we got lost. Neither of us had the faintest idea which way would take us back tot the point where we launched the boat. There was no danger, but it was disconcerting. Eventually we met some locals who knew their way about. They indicated the relevant stream and we got safely back. No fuss, no drama (my son being a calm sort of person) but the situation was so interesting that I wrote a book about it. You can probably guess what Mangrove Mystery is about (except of course it does have some drama and fuss!) It came out under one of my pen names; Nicholas Corella.
This is my fourth book to be inspired by real-life river events. Maybe one day I'll write a book incorporating the day Aunt Dracula almost got lost in Bass Strait... or maybe not.
ABOUT THE BLOG
Sally is 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.