Today I started re-reading the manuscript for my novel, Writing Clementine, which will be published by the lovely Onions (AKA Allen and Unwin – yay!), in 2014. It’s been a few months since I’ve entered Clementine’s world, and I’m loving being back there. I’m looking forward to the editing process and I can’t wait to launch her out into the world. She’s one of my favourite characters ever, and I hope you’ll love her as much as I do.
But as much as I’m enjoying reacquainting myself with Clemmie, it’s making me feel rather homesick, too. I set the novel in my hometown – Wynyard, on the beautiful North-West coast of Tasmania – and the neighbouring city of Burnie. Clementine and her friends go to my school, they eat at the same cafe I ate at with my friends when I was in high school. They even sit at the same booth! And, sure, there was no Steampunk Society in Burnie when I was a teenager (oh golly, if only), but otherwise the book is a fairly accurate and faithful ode to my beloved hometown.
My ties to my heartland are still strong. My dad and brother may have recently moved out of the family home that holds so many memories for me, but my Nan – Tiger’s Great-Nan Alwyn – and my dear group of high school friends still love there. I still have aunties and uncles and cousins and second cousins there. It’s the place my soul lives and golly I miss it.
I hope when people from my hometown read Clementine they are chuffed to see their territory turned into words. I hope, more than anything, that the people I love, in the place I love, love my story.
And, in the meantime, I’m planning more trips up that way. Life’s too short. And my hometown is so beautiful. I need to see it more.