On Tuesday March 12 at 10am I finished writing my memoir. If I had any say in the matter, this would be the cover of the book. The gorgeous photo is by Heather Landis and is part of her Abyss of the Disheartened series.
Here is what it is about…
At midnight, with fireworks exploding on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in the sky above and from the top of city high-rises, a man who wasn’t my husband pushed me against the trunk of a gnarled old Moreton Bay Fig and kissed me. At the back of my mind I knew what we were doing was wrong, that we had crossed the line from flirting into something more dangerous, but I didn’t pull away. When the kiss ended, he breathed softly into my ear, ‘Happy New Year, my darling.’
At midnight, one year later, the New Year’s Eve fireworks were the only thing that remained the same.
My affair was over.
My husband was dead.
I had fallen in love with a man who I never expected to stay with me.
This is the story of the year my life unravelled and the three men who changed the trajectory of my life.
Unravelled is non-chronological memoir, weaving together the story of what transpired after my husband committed suicide with the events that led up to his death.
Did my affair set in motion the chain of events that led to my husband’s death? Was I responsible for what happened? Would losing my husband destroy the chance to find happiness with someone else?
Now I’m about to send my manuscript off to a professional editor who will read it with ‘fresh’ eyes and tell me if the story works and if there are any holes.
It is exciting to have finished a book that has taken two years to write. It is also terrifying to think that someone is going to look at it with a critical eye and point out what needs more work.
The words may change between now and the time it reaches the bookshops but here is a small taste of the opening scene.
A blond ambulance driver ushered us into a square windowless room. The sharp smell of industrial disinfectant rose from the nylon carpet.
‘A trauma counsellor will be with you shortly,’ he said, before disappearing through the door.
I perched on the edge of a grey plastic chair, my head bowed. Light from a naked fluorescent tube made my eyes ache. Simon sat next to me, his crisp lavender shirt and black pants making him look more like a doctor than someone accompanying a patient. I could hear voices outside in the corridor fading in and out. I wondered if Jack was here too. He wasn’t of course, they take dead bodies to a morgue, not a hospital.
‘I can’t sit here any longer,’ I said, after twenty minutes. ‘I can’t breathe. This was a stupid idea. Can we go now?’
‘Of course we can, baby,’ said Simon. ‘Where do you want to go?’
‘I need a drink. Let’s go to the pub.’
Half an hour later, after convincing an overweight male nurse that I didn’t need any psychological help, Simon and I walked down the road to St Leonards station to catch a train back to North Sydney. As the train approached the platform, I looked through the front window of the driver’s compartment. The driver’s short grey hair, blue shirt and bored look were the same, but it wasn’t Jack. ‘I’m dead you idiot,’ he said, ‘how could it be me driving the train?’
If you might like to read Unravelled, please let me know in the comments. It would be nice to know if anyone is actually going to buy it (and having potential readers will help me get agent/publisher interest). Thank you x