JANE IRELAND - INDIE AUTHOR
Telling the story of women from two different worlds struck by circumstance, the book is written to inspire vulnerable women, and anyone living in unfortunate circumstances, to tell them to have faith that things can improve.
The whispers of the universe are shouting at you. Sentient beings. Grace finds the term misguided, paradoxical; people either underestimate the power of their senses or block them entirely. She uses hers wisely, especially since the assault. She’s made a pact with beyond—a protective force—promising her glimpses of the future as long as she keeps her secrets hidden. A crushing blow was never in the deal ...
What is captivity? Having fled war-torn Budapest for Australia, Izabella’s dreams for renewal rapidly turn sour. As the lives of these two women collide, transformative effects of the supernatural guide them towards acceptance and reconciliation, opening pathways for retribution. Will their efforts be enough?
Spanning twenty years following World War II, set in Brisbane and rural New South Wales, Emigree explores the universality of loss and grief, and how a little magic can change people’s lives.
…A beautiful and mystical journey of emotion; masterfully written by an author who knows the sensitivities of loss…a must-read….” 5 stars, IndieBooks reviewer
Emigree – The Crying Tree Book 1 is the first title by this author to be released through Shawline Publishing Group.
Fascinated by human behaviour, Jane Ireland studied psychology and sociology at university, later finding reward teaching adult students from diverse backgrounds. Having grown up—she uses the term loosely—with Alice and Pooh, she still pursues imaginative literature. Her work has been awarded highly commended, and runner-up status, in writing competitions. A proud member of Queensland Writers Centre and Australian Society of Authors, Jane lives with her husband, two of their four children, and two sooky dogs on beautiful ragged acreage on Brisbane’s outskirts.
Why you wrote this book - what were your inspirations?
I’m interested in the resilience of human behaviour. Over the years I’ve met women who have endured immeasurable hardship and come out smiling, and it was really for that type of woman that I wrote the series. In The Crying Tree series—Emigree being the first of two books—I wanted to create female characters with inner strength, ones who buck the system.
I guess I, too, have shown some resilience. Although happy in many ways, largely due to a loving mother, my childhood was tarnished by some dysfunction which I will not disclose. I suffered emotionally and now have health issues, possibly exacerbated by events in my childhood and teenage years. There are shades of my journey in some of the ‘coping strategies’ used by my characters. I can also relate to Grace’s reverence for the natural and spiritual worlds, searching outside and within for peace. But life now for me is very good.
I deliberately chose as the book’s time period the highly charged post-WWII Assimilation era, when Australia accepted an influx of Europeans displaced by war. I had many Greek and Italian school friends, never understanding why their families came to Australia, the trauma and loss they may have experienced. In Emigree, Australia’s Assimilation years are a foil for the way a young Hungarian woman, Izabella, is treated at a time of rampant racism. It was an era of the stolen generation of our nation’s first peoples, and many young white women were forced to give up their babies for adoption too. A loss of any child by force surely has an effect on the mother.
I hold some shame in admitting that during my early years our family had an indigenous maid. I never understood where she came from, why she was with us, but we loved her. It was only later that I realized she probably formed part of the Stolen Generation. I wish I had heard her story. I thought it would be good for Grace, my intuitive and caring protagonist, to experience something similar.
How did you decide on the characters in the book would also be an interesting concept to include?
There are two main protagonists: Grace, an Anglo-Saxon middle-class Australian; and Izabella, a girl with a Greek mother and Hungarian father, the family having escaped war-torn Budapest securing safe passage to Australia.
I thought it would be interesting to contrast the lives to two very different women. Their stories are poles apart, yet they suffer similar plights in terms of experiencing terrible loss and enduring toxic masculinity. It takes the passion of both women to help bring about retribution for my antagonist. I wanted to highlight the universality of some situations and emotions.
What drew you to the subject matter or the characters?
I felt the book had to be set in Australia, not just because I was born here, but because it is so unique in its remoteness and peoples, and because of the way the rest of the world influences and impinges upon it. The influx of peoples from other countries, particularly after WWII have made it richer, but they didn’t always have it easy here. Emotionally, some of the characters in the book travel journeys similar, in ways, to my own.
Any interesting experiences you might’ve had during the research for the book, or while writing or publishing the book:
I got talking to a stranger about my story the other day and she said I would find my niche. Niche is the name of the second book in the series. She said she was ‘a bit psychic’.
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Full media kit, inc images and Q&A about the book by the author
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Book is available for purchase upon release at all great Australian book stores and online direct at www.indiebooksaust.com.au
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