A week ago I posted the manuscript of my Cambodian novel to my Australian Society of Authors mentor, Judith Lukin-Amundsen. She’s busy with other work at the moment so it may be a while till I get her feedback. We’ve only had one meeting so far this year but from that one meeting I was able to look at the story from a whole new perspective. Judith is a bit magic that way. My friend Helena Pastor (a gifted writer of fast-paced, intriguing memoirs that explore social issues) has had Judith as a mentor before and again this year. She can’t speak highly enough of her either. I’ve got everything crossed Judith will like the major changes I’ve made and be able to show me even more ways to improve it. I’ve been working on this story since 2005 and I think its finally finding its proper shape.
At the moment, I’m calling it, “When it Rains” but it’s had many other names – including Bittersweet, Chocolate Brown Vanilla, Sugar Cane Juice, and A Lesson in Darkness. Which one do you like best? Any new ideas welcome! It’s based on my time living and working in Cambodia in the mid-nineties when there was still a lot of Khmer Rouge activity and Westerners were being kidnapped and killed. Despite the ever-present danger, I feel deeply in love with the country and its people. It’s the most intriguing, captivating, perplexing and frustrating place I’ve ever been. Recently, I found a wonderful book by Joel Brinkley, Cambodia’s Curse, which helped add another dimension to my novel. Thanks Joel! He’s writing a novel set in Cambodia too. Fingers crossed the two of us will start some kind of vampire-like literary craze!
I’m so looking forward to seeing my story of Cambodia become a book too.
After I sent that off, I gave my blog a new look and even joined Twitter, thanks to the advice I received from the delightful Lisa at Twine Marketing. In just one hour she helped me focus in on what I really needed to do to pull myself together as a “brand”. As irksome as that initially was, I now realise it’s a reality of the modern writer’s world.