It was a great night at Mr Walker on Mends St jetty in South Perth. With Brett Walker as MC, Dale James from 101.7 introducing me, John Bailey launching the novel, and Brett’s staff providing excellent service, we think there was plenty to keep the 70 or so attendees satisfied. Karen and I appreciate all those who made the time to attend as well as those who assisted. It was good fun.
Now that there are three novels out in the world, I’ve often been asked the relationship between them: that is, should one be read before the others or in a sequence. I’ve always explained that they are interdependent of each other, but at the same time, they are connected. At the launch, I explained the relationship this way.
The novels are spaced about four decades apart: 2017 for Hiding Place, 1974 for Turn on a Light, mainly 1934 for The Wiluna Solution although some of it takes place in 2007, and the new novel, still tentatively named Life Sentence, in 1900. I regard each novel of a snapshot of history linked by a non-Aboriginal person’s interpretation of race relations with Aboriginal people in those eras. The personal relationships of each protagonist in each era allows different customs and values to be illustrated.
But as I say, each is interdependent of the other, partly because of the different eras, and partly because each gives a different perspective on race relations. Of the three published, however, I believe The Wiluna Solution shows the era when inter-racial relationships were probably at an all-time low, Turn on a Light shows the gradual change that emerged in that decade, and Hiding Place suggests a potential strategy to make a bigger difference in a much shorter time than currently occurs. In terms of opportunities for Aboriginal and Indigenous people that equate with those for non-Aboriginal people, there is still a long way to go.