Outback Promise by Maggie Bolitho @goddessfish @maggiebolitho
Welcome!! Thanks for joining me for this short Q&A! Tell us about your current release.
Outback Promise is the story of Ros and Grady Balfour whose comfortable, happy lives were shattered by the death of their only child, Cadel. Over six years, a wall of hurt and bitterness has grown up between them. In that arid and emotionally impoverished state, Grady has an affair.
When the story opens, Grady invites Ros to go for a hike. He has something important to discuss. Ros expects the worst but what Grady wants from her is one last chance to renew their love and reconcile their years of aloofness and distance.
Does your significant other read your stuff?
My husband is my audio reader. He listens to me read every word of my work. He listened to all of Outback Promise several times. In that role he helped with the technical aspects of the book which was based on our trip around Australia in 2005.
What would we find under your bed?
Dust bunnies, lost bookmarks, and a thick-soled pair of shoes in case there is an earthquake. Vancouver Island is on the Pacific Rim of Fire and due for a major shake at some point.
Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.
Eviscerating, exhilarating, fulfilling.
What one word best describes you?
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
Until she met Grady, Ros spent her life shielding her true feelings from others. She’d never known unqualified love or true intimacy. Grady loved her shy, closed ways right until the day their child died. His own life has been golden. The youngest and most adored child of six, Grady grew up cared for and confident, with a generous and kind nature.
Cadel’s death was a stomach punch of grief to him and he reached out to Ros, thinking that they could ease each other’s pain. Ros, in her self-contained, private way pushed him away. Their marriage falls into a dry stalemate until Grady, seeking the warmth Ros cannot give him, has an affair.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
My husband’s laughter or appreciative nod when a passage resonates with him.
Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?
by Maggie Bolitho
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
Six years ago, the Balfours lost their son Cadel to a hit-and-run driver.
A few months ago, Ros discovered Grady's affair.
With their marriage fast disintegrating, they decide to take a three-month camping trip into the heart of Australia to try and mend deep wounds and rekindle the fire that once fused them close. This trip will decide the fate of their relationship: do they have enough strength and enough love left to accept what life has put them both through?
But trust and forgiveness don't come easily, and Ros and Grady have to navigate not only the wilderness of the Outback and the challenges of other travelers, but also the chasm of grief and bitterness they have sunk into over the last six years. Their only hope for survival lies in facing the secrets they have both tried to keep buried ...
The day my son died, he ate a Vegemite and banana sandwich for lunch.
His small voice, almost forgotten now, jarred me awake that morning. ‘How do bees get to school?’
Forty pounds of energy scrambled onto the bed.
‘Who’s asking me these questions so very early?’ I surfaced from a dream fog.
‘Mummy! It’s sunny!’ Cadel wedged himself between his father and me. His breath smelled like apple juice.
‘Okay, so how do bees get to school?’
‘On the school buzz.’
His infectious giggle filled the room. I peered out at the bright blue sky and abandoned all hope of sleeping in. We said we’d take him hiking with his new backpack if the weather was good.
Grady rolled over and grunted. His wavy dark hair hung in his eyes as he tried to look stern. ‘Lady Rosalyn, do you know this little person?’
‘No, Sir Grady, I do not.’
‘Should we make him walk the plank?’
‘It’s me, Daddy.’
‘What? When?’ Grady shook his head. ‘Me? Me who?’
‘It’s me! Cadel!’
‘I don’t remember giving permission for you to come aboard. Are you sure you’re not a pirate? I’d better give you the pirate test.’ He lifted Cadel’s pyjama top and blew a raspberry on his soft stomach.
Cadel shrieked and flailed his small arms.
I slid out of bed and left the two of them, wrestling and twisting the sheets into knots.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maggie Bolitho grew up in Victoria BC Canada, where she spent her childhood flying under the radar, constructing alternate universes, and wishing to be somewhere over the rainbow. Shortly after her 17th birthday she set out to see the world. Eventually, she moved on to Australia.
While living Down Under and exploring the outback, Maggie started writing fiction. Her adult short stories have been published in various anthologies in Australia, the US, and Canada. She has written for Quills Canadian Poetry magazine, her YA novel LOCKDOWN was published in 2014, and in 2015 she published OUTBACK PROMISE.