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.
MY RECENT TRIP TO CAMARET-SUR-MER: WEST COAST OF FRANCE
I travelled to Camaret-sur-Mur on the Atlantic coast, checking out a location for a key scene in my new novel, The Butterfly Enigma. How exciting to eventually find the perfect spot!
(5 / 5)
Valentine de Vaillant—known as Valli to her friends and a variety of code names to other members of the Resistance—lives with her grandmother in German-occupied France. She risks her life and safety on a frequent basis to carry out missions for the Resistance, whether transporting illicit goods or helping people escape the country. Even at home, she’s not entirely safe, as there is a German officer currently living under their roof. Maximilian von Stahlmann is a unique kind of soldier: he takes his oath of obedience to his country seriously, but does not follow orders blindly, and his men respect him deeply. Von Stahlmann suspects Valli is in the Resistance, but is not really sure he holds it against her. As the war drags on, the two are unable to deny their attraction to one another. When Valli’s best friend, Marguerite, is arrested, Valli will do anything to get her out, because no price is too high.
In Mortal Danger is the sequel to Lorraine Campbell’s book Resisting the Enemy, but it’s not necessary to have read the first book to understand and enjoy the second. With In Mortal Danger, Campbell presents a fascinating glimpse into France during the Occupation, touching on ideas like food rations and the black market and even giving readers a painfully descriptive look into French-run prison camps. Valli is fiery and independent, and readers will enjoy seeing her dive headfirst into Resistance missions, navigate the realities of life during the war, and fight her strong attraction to von Stahlmann. Von Stahlmann, meanwhile, is incredibly likeable despite being “the enemy.” His courage, integrity, and willingness to stand up for what’s right will make readers want Valli to just give in already and admit she’s in love! This book is fascinating and wonderfully well-written.
Reviewed by Holly Scudero
See original San Francisco Book Review here.
Last June, my sister Helen Madden (Stork Theatre) and I visited an archaeological dig, located at Gazipasa on the south-central coast of Turkey.
The dig is uncovering the ancient Roman city of Antiochia ad Cragum. It’s perched on cliffs that descend from the Taurus mountain range down to the Mediterranean Sea. I met Prof Michael Hoff, the dig director from University of Nebraska and all the team. What a fabulous experience!
Question: How did your workplace inspire the story behind Resisting the Enemy?
Lorraine Campbell: I can’t say that my workplace was a direct inspiration for the story. However, a couple of characters in the book are lawyers and some of the scenes take place in the law courts. So in that sense my background as a Court Reporter was of enormous help. I would say, though, that working in the law courts – particularly in the criminal jurisdiction – provided me with a rich array of characters to study. An invaluable source of inspiration for any writer. Every aspect of life at some stage ends up in the law courts. As a shorthand writer, covering trial after trial, you see it all.
Question: Why do you believe it’s important for young adults to learn about world history?
Lorraine Campbell: History is the story of our past. It explains why the world is the way it is today. And for young adults to really understand the world around them, they need to know the steps it took to get here. How the seeds of what is happening today were sewn in the events of the past.
Studying history also causes young people to reflect on the use and abuse of power. To think about the dangers of remaining silent, indifferent and apathetic to the oppression of others.
Many of the freedoms we take for granted today are due to the sacrifices made by others in the past. The democratic institutions and the freedoms we enjoy as citizens today are not automatically sustained. They need to be nurtured, appreciated and protected. History teaches young people how to value those freedoms. It also shows them how easily they can be lost.
Question: Can you talk about the research and travel that went into writing Resisting the Enemy?
Lorraine Campbell: Even though I was writing a work of fiction, I wanted to ensure that the background to the story was completely authentic. Over a period of about five years, I accumulated an extensive library of history books, biographies and memoirs, as well as numerous reference books on all manner of subjects. You find yourself going down all sorts of paths and byways, endlessly fascinated by what you’re discovering. One week you might be researching the medals and uniforms of the German Army: the next, you’re reading up on French fashions of the 1930s and the outrageous creations of Elsa Schiaparelli. That said, the major trick of writing good historical fiction is knowing what to leave out. Not to load the reader up with endless historical detail. Try to weave it seamlessly into the story.
On the practical side, it involved a number of trips to Paris, Lyon and the south of France. This was one of the most enjoyable aspects of my research. Checking out locations for particular scenes, following in the footsteps of my characters. Always bearing in mind, of course, that present day locations may have changed from what they were at the time.
Question: Can you tell us about the second book in this series?
Lorraine Campbell: In the second book, “In Mortal Danger” life under the German Occupation has become even more dark and dangerous for those in the French Resistance. For Valli – my main protagonist – living under the same roof as the enemy, there is now an added danger. The more she comes to know Colonel Maximilian von Stahlmann, the harder it becomes to resist her growing feelings for him. When her dearest friend is arrested by the Gestapo, Valli faces her most perilous situation yet. All her courage and resourcefulness is put to the test. But in order to save her friend, she must risk everything. Be willing to do whatever it takes. Even if it means putting her own life in jeopardy.
Question: What do you enjoy about writing young adult books?
Lorraine Campbell: The possibility that in some way my characters might inspire young girls in positive ways. It gives me the chance to present young readers with a strong, resourceful protagonist. An ordinary young woman, living through real historical events. How she finds the courage to stand up for what she believes in. And how, when needed, we all have the potential for that in us.
In a world awash with Kardashians and empty celebrity, where young girls are pressured into becoming self-absorbed, obsessed with looks and appearance, it’s never been more important for them to have strong female characters in fiction. And young readers are particularly impressionable. It’s a time when we’re most open to be influenced by what we read in books. Something about a character you loved as a child will have rubbed off on you. Inspired you in some way. Writing for young adults gives me the opportunity to show that inside every young girl there is a hero.
Interview by Brooke Hunter at www.girl.com.au