Of all the reviews I’ve received for “The Butterfly Enigma”, this is one I shall treasure. It’s from Marcelle Fitoussi, my friend Lydia’s French cousin.
From Paris, she writes:
“After a very busy period this spring and beginning summer, I am glad to be on holidays for a month. And holidays mean you’re quiet and have time to read! I spent last week with amazing book! I couldn’t even let it, during my first week of holidays, outside, in restaurants, in cafés. I went to Normandy to the Impressionism painting festival… a whole week with Lena and Jacques and Valli and all those amazing details of Melbourne Court and justice system, all the places I could see where it was… That is my general impression! A book that really fills you, that you cannot let until the last page…
I felt this book much more personal, you seemed to have put a lot of your own “vécu” as we say in french, you have obviously been working very hard, because each detail, place or character seems real and natural as if we met again old friends after your two first books. Previously, I went back to the previous books to be sure I was familiar again with the previous part of the story and it was amazing to find again the exact story following in this book (the way Lena and Jacques were found and saved by Marguerite).
I loved the development of the story, the personality of Lena strong, decided, never disturbed of the objective she had, all the french references so “well à propos” and the study of the human being in general. I particularly enjoyed the mixed stories: Hunt for nazi criminals, love attractions in diverse senses among all characters. The Butterfly Enigma is a thriller with the big History as a background and all personal and private stories among. It was very interesting to learn about all those details of Barristers, supreme court, judges and the profession of court reporter, even if I had a few difficulties only at the beginning with all the english terms of that field. But then I had made a small dictionary of the main terminology so it was easier!
Nothing has been left to hazard. I’ve seen all the readings you made and obviously an incredible number of other researches, we do see through the novel. Really congratulations, you know that now you have an overseas fan crazy about your books! Thank you again for this amazing book, I already look forward for the next one and wish you could be translated into French.
On Sunday, I was thrilled to be on a panel at the Bayside Author Expo, which took place at the Beaumaris Library. Panel members: On my left, Rochelle Jackson (Journalist and true crime writer) and Jane Sullivan (Author and “The Age” columnist/reviewer.) On my right, Olga Lorenzo (The Light on the Water), and Jenny Ackland (The Secret Son).
The topic for our panel discussion: Promotion is not a dirty word! The art of marketing your book.” Each of us gave our own unique perspective on the world of book publishing, and our experience of the (dreaded?) but necessary art of self-promotion and marketing!
There was a huge turnout to this superbly organised event. Congratulations to Lynda Hayton and the team at Bayside Library Service. I think author Emma Bowd sums it up beautifully in this extract from her blog: https://emmabowd.com/2016/06/01/author-expo/
Bayside Author Expo
On Sunday 29 May I will be taking part in a panel discussion, together with Olga Lorenzo, Jane Sullivan and Jenny Ackland, on The Art of Marketing Your Book. Love to see you there!
Great to see that ‘The Butterfly Enigma’ is featured in this month’s Country Style Magazine – Book Club. Listed as a great read for the Easter holidays!
“… focus of the plot is Nazi war criminals who found a soft landing in Australia … Excellent research and drama.”
– Annabel Lawson.
Why read it?
It is a well told historical novel. A good thriller with a dash of romance.
A story of justice, retribution and love
What’s the story?
Lena was a lost child of German-occupied Paris. A mostly silent child, she eventually begins to think of herself as French and eventually moves to Australia to start a new life.
The heroine, Mademoiselle Lena Marceau is a young lady with an unknown past who arrives in Melbourne after living in Sydney as a society wife. Her subsequent rather ugly divorce leads to her relocating to Melbourne in the 1960’s to study to become a court reporter. It was a very clever move for this almost penniless woman as shorthand writers in the courts were paid so well that she soon could afford to live better, with a touch of elegance.
While in court one day, the high pitched strident voice of one Judge Ferik struck her like lightning and Lena’s body and mind went into shock. Her life’s path changed in that instant. Did that voice trigger memories of 27 years ago in a far distant place, or was it all a figment of her imagination?
Some exquisite butterfly jewellery found in different parts of the world, played an important yet convoluted part in the Butterfly Enigma.
‘In many cultures the butterfly is viewed with great respect, even with fear. Ancient civilisations believed it to be the symbol of the human soul, that when a person dies, their soul takes the form of a butterfly.’ – Butterfly Enigma
One of the few memories our heroine has of her mother is the haunting order, “Whatever happens you must never look back.” Maybe that’s a life’s message for us as readers. I’d love to reveal more of the story but its evolution was so fascinating, so sad and yet so exciting that it’s best that you read it yourself.
Pat’s final verdict: Highly recommended. This is a cracker of a novel.
Lorraine Campbell on what inspired her to write Butterfly Enigma: “Working as a court reporter over the years, I heard some incredible stories in the Melbourne Law Courts but the tales of Nazi war criminals living in Australia and the many unsuccessful attempts to bring them to justice filled me with an ongoing and abiding sense of outrage. Why could these mass murderers never be put on trial for their heinous crimes? So I decided to bring this part of Australia’s history to life.”
Great to be selected as one of the “top picks” in the Sunday Daily Telegraph.
It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Australian writer, Lorraine Campbell, to my blog today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the publication of her third novel, The Butterfly Enigma, which was released on the 8th December.
Lorraine is a licensed shorthand writer who worked for seventeen years as a court reporter with the Victorian Government Reporting Service, providing verbatim transcripts of Supreme Court criminal trials and in other jurisdictions. She has also been a freelance court reporter in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
She has an Arts Degree from Monash University, majoring in Philosophy and English Literature, and has studied French and German for a number of years.
Her previous novels are Resisting the Enemy and In Mortal Danger and she has had articles published in On Line Opinion, News.com.au, and Girl.com.au.
A resident of Melbourne’s bayside, Lorraine adores the opera, theatre and movies. She also likes to keep fit and runs every morning along the beach and in the local parks. What she really enjoys most is lying on a chaise longue, popping chocs and reading crime thrillers – or absolutely anything by Alan Furst.
Please feel free to pull up a stump and get to know Lorraine a bit more.
Before I continue though, I’d just like to thank JAM PR, for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and making this interview possible.
Lorraine, it’s really great to have you here to celebrate the release of The Butterfly Enigma.
Thank you so much. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here with you.
Please share a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming an author.
From my earliest childhood, I’ve been an avid reader. Books have always been an important part of my life. But it was only when I went back to University and did an Arts degree – having to write long essays on all manner of subjects – that I discovered my love of writing. But, of course, I didn’t just suddenly emerge fully formed as a writer. It takes a long time to learn the craft of writing. The other day I came across an early draft of my first book. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! The stilted dialogue, the clichés, the overblown descriptions… But it showed me just how far I had come since those early days.
I recently finished reading The Butterfly Enigma but for those who are wanting to purchase it, would you mind giving us a breakdown?
Essentially, it’s about one young woman’s desire to unlock the secrets of her past and her quest for justice and retribution. As a young child, Lena is found wandering the streets of wartime Paris. No-one knows her name or where she comes from. Australia in the “Swinging Sixties” Lena is working in the Law Courts. One day she hears a man’s voice. A voice that sounds hauntingly familiar. A voice that chills her to the core. Is it possible that this man has something to do with her unknowable past? Lena embarks on a search for more. And slowly, layer by layer, the past is peeled away, revealing a picture of evil involving thousands of lives and touching on Lena’s own personal tragedy.
Being a former Barristers’ secretary, I was absolutely fascinated by your main character, Lena and her environment. Can you give us some more insight into her and the world she inhabits?
The world Lena finds herself inhabiting is one that most members of the public never get to see. Working as a court reporter in the criminal jurisdiction, it comes as a shock to be confronted with the dark and violent underside of society. But in time, like all those who work in the criminal courts – judges, barristers, police, court staff – Lena acquires the ability to deal with all the sordidness and violence in a matter-of-fact-way. After all, she has a job to do. Providing a verbatim transcript of court proceedings requires intense focus and concentration.
World War 2 is one of the greatest and most horrible lessons humanity has ever learned — sometimes, I wonder if we have learned everything we should. It’s been fodder for so many movies, books and TV and Lorraine Campbell provides the newest entry to this genre, set in Australia in the 1960s: The Butterfly Enigma (reviewed at the link).
Lorraine is a licensed a licensed shorthand writer and worked for seventeen years as a court reporter with the Victoria Government Reporting Service. In The Butterfly Engima, Lena, the main character becomes a court reporter post a horrible divorce, and begins to rebuild her life. It’s through her job that her search into her past begins. The book was an engrossing read, with a main character that proved was complicated, messy and yes, even hard to like — and all that made her all the more riveting — characters like this make reading so much fun! I spent my time reading this book going Lena no! and cheering her on.
This is what Lorraine says about working as a court reporter:
“Working as a court reporter over the years, I heard some incredible stories in the Melbourne Law Courts – but the tales of Nazi war criminals living in Australia and the many unsuccessful attempts to bring them to justice filled me with an ongoing and abiding sense of outrage. Why could these mass murderers never be put on trial for their heinous crimes? So I decided to bring this part of Australia’s history to life.”
I find this amazing; can you imagine the stories a court reporter hears? Read on to find out more about Lorraine, her time as a court reporter, and why she’s a research junkie.
How did you find become a court reporter? What was it like?
I became a court reporter purely by chance. It happened just as it appears in The Butterfly Enigma. One of those chance encounters that changes the course of your life forever. I was working as a legal secretary and one of the women there told me about it. My first experience as a court reporter was quite a shock. Working in the criminal jurisdiction, you’re confronted with that dark underside of society that most members of the public never get to see. Hearing the graphic details of violent rapes, or the sexual abuse of children, was particularly shocking and upsetting. But like all those who work in the criminal courts – judges, barristers, police, court staff – you learn to deal with it. And, of course, there are the other jurisdictions you work in as well: commercial, civil juries, probate, bail applications. The great thing about being a court reporter is the constant variety. Every day is different, and every day you learn something new.
Book launch of “The Butterfly Enigma” in the beautiful Deakin Room of Old Treasury Building.