Local author Sherryl Caulfield last night launched the first book in her Iceberg trilogy, Seldom Come By. For a Brisbane born and bred writer, the Icebergs of the North Atlantic seem like an unlikely setting.
She describes them as evocative of the strangeness and magnificence of the Arctic.
“It started when I was travelling in Canada, and the first draft was written travelling in the mountains of New Zealand,” she told Westender at the launch. The book was polished in Hong Kong and finally published here, with the support of friends and family.
The decision to self-publish was quite a journey, for Ms Caulfield, whose friends have been encouraging her to self publish for years.
“I wanted to work with professionals, and just wasn’t ready to do everything myself.
“It was after the book was finished and I was well into my walk of rejection, I just decided, this is it, it is time to get the thing out an about.”
The long time publicist and marketing expert has pulled no punches in promoting the book. It has the full social media profile, promoting the full trilogy, and is widely available online.
The first book is essentially a romance – a coming of age for the twentieth century as we follow the development of a poor rural girl from Newfoundland and her peers through the first world war and into the events that ended the age of hope and bred the cynicism and self awareness that characterized that century.
Written by a woman, primarily for a female audience, the emotional landscape is rich, the action relatively langorous and the settings evocative. It is rugged and raw though, with the harshness of Newfoundland, the hell of the trenches and the other worldiness of the Arctic all vivid, visceral and compelling.
While only one third into the first novel of the trilogy, the fact that I am arranging social engagements around reading time tells volumes about Caulfield’s powerful writing and clever structuring of plot and character.
I am in love with half the characters in the book and curious rather than disengaged with the minor ones. I reckon it is going to be a ripper.