I am announcing the publication of my fifth novel, Moving On, in the expectation that some of my readers might be able to attend one or other (or both!) of the book launches, in Sydney (October 23rd) and Canberra (October 27th). There is nothing about climate change or politics in this novel. It is about what is suggested by the book’s title: what happens when, some time after a disaster or disappointment of some kind, you gather your own forces, and decide that you need to move on. Doing so may not be at all straightforward.
It is 1999, in Sydney, Australia. The Millennium is only weeks away, a time when a new era will begin for humanity. Four people are hoping for a new era for themselves, too.
Ros, 39, has been dumped by her husband for a younger woman, now pregnant to him. Brady, 42, saw his young partner die of cancer, and has been a hermit for the year since her death. Linda, 22, has been dominated by her mother, and is desperate to leave home and start her own life. Peter, 35, is a businessman, highly successful, who thinks it is now time to marry. Ros is Linda’s godmother. Brady once lived with Ros, a long time ago. Peter is Linda’s employer.
All of them want to move on, which is what friends say when people have had a major crisis. But moving on is not necessarily easy. You have to know roughly where you want to move to, and how best to do it. Ros, Brady, Linda and Peter are not sure of the direction or the timing.
And moving on can start without one recognising it for what it is. Ros goes to a church function and is inspired by the speaker. Linda loses her temper at a Christmas lunch, and leaves home. Brady has an extraordinary experience on a mountain. Peter receives a puzzling email, which prompts unexpected action in other people.
Their paths are set in motion, and interact with each other. By the end, all have moved on, but not necessarily in the directions they first thought.
The original idea for this novel came to me almost two decades ago, as a novella. Though my small group of draft-readers loved it, my literary agent didn’t, and I put it aside to do other things. But I liked the two women, and eventually decided that I would write a full-scale novel involving them, though not with the original plot. Then I put that aside because I wasn’t happy with it, and did more other things. Then a year ago I decided that I should finish it, and did. And here it is.
I now have a proper book distribution system, so theoretically you ought to be able to buy the book through any good bookshop. There will be a Kindle edition on October 23rd, and it will also be available on the website at the RRP (including p&p) of $29.95 on the same day.
Sydney: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe point Road Sunday 23rd October, 3.30 for 4.00pm. Wendy McCarthy AO will be launching the book.
Canberra: Paperchain, Manuka, Thursday 27th October, 5.30 for 6.00pm. Claudia Hyles will be launching the book.