During this crazy time of Covid-19, many authors have had their book launches and events, understandably, but disappointingly, cancelled. In lieu of this, I’ve opened my blog to authors affected by this situation to talk about their new release.
Today, please welcome Suzanne Moore and her book ‘The Place Between’.
Title: The Place Between
Author: Suzanne Moore
Published: 16 March 2020
Genre: Magic realism / Family drama
Sarah used to know who she was—a doctor, a wife, a mother—but as she prepares for the birth of her second child, she feels set adrift from the life she had planned. When her mother, Beryl, announces she’s coming to Sydney from Perth, Sarah has to contend with more than her own. insecurities. She hasn’t told Beryl she’s pregnant. She isn’t sure why not. Sarah’s secretive betrayal could be the final blow in her already fragile relationship with her mother.
On her first day of maternity leave, a mishap at the supermarket leads Sarah to experience her mother’s past firsthand. Her understanding shifts. Memory ceases to be reliable, and Beryl’s experiences lead Sarah into a tangled web of lost realities and grief.
The reader is taken on a journey spanning three generations as Sarah travels along and across the tendrils of time to get to the truth.
This absorbing read will have you on the edge of your seat as you join Sarah on a journey through family, memory and a mother’s lost story.
From the author
What inspired you to write this book? Where did the idea come from?
It all started as an overheard conversation at the airport. I was pregnant, waiting to meet my family in Japan and I heard the couple next to me complaining about their daughter. They were incensed that she never made them ‘pudding’ when they went there for dinner.
It got me thinking about how our relationships are shaped by the little moments in our lives.
What sort of research did you need to undertake before/during writing this book?
The Place Between formed the creative practice component of my PhD thesis. So, I did a lot of research! Time is a key feature of this novel and I researched a great deal around time theories and how time in narrative can change how we write our characters. I was very interested in women’s lives and mothers and daughters, and how I could use time in fiction in creative ways to open new channels and insights into domestic lives, history and relationships.
Do you have a favourite character, or a character who you enjoyed writing the most?
I loved Beryl. She’s (almost) the baddie in the book, but I have a lot of time for her. I feel as though she really does have a good heart but her actions are sometimes misplaced. In early drafts she was really nasty and I found that that didn’t ring true for me and I wanted to find a way to redeem her and make her as sympathetic as possible.
What was the most challenging thing you found writing this book?
Copy editing without a doubt. It seems like a never-ending task. I got to the point where I had to read it line by line with a ruler, as though I was back in primary school, just to stop myself skimming over the words.
What was the key theme or issue that you wanted to get across in this book? And was that something you intended from the start, or something that came apparent during writing?
I always wanted this to be a book that celebrated the small moments of our relationships as women. I was very interested in placing this in a domestic setting but showing the tension between the domestic and professional/political world.
As these things do, it took on a life of its own, but at its heart, The Place Between is an act of love for mothers, daughters and family.
How long did it take you to write the book?
I’m not sure I should answer this. It took ten years, largely because it was part of my PhD thesis. I began when I was pregnant with my first child and so my study period was interrupted by maternity leave, sick leave, another stint of maternity leave and yet another stint of leave to care for unwell children. I’m sure the intermingling of my children’s early life, and the pressure that comes with that, played a major role in how this book was formed.
What was the highlight for you writing this book?
Discovering that Sarah was going to see the past. It was one of the most exciting moments in my life. I remember the sense of giddiness that I’d cracked the case. It was a feeling that stayed with me throughout the writing process.
If your book was made into a movie, what actors could you see in the main roles?
I’d love to see Alison Bell play Sarah, I adore her. I think Sarah Peirse would make a cracking Beryl and Yvonne Strahovski would make an amazing young Lillian.
Is there anything, in particular, you want potential readers to know when choosing your book as their ‘next read’?
There is time-travel involved in this story, but there’s no Tardis or major sci-fi element. Instead, my decision to have my main character move through time is about self-discovery as well as a mechanism by which she can see her mother outside of that all-looming word ‘mother’.
All the links
Book purchase links:
Or wherever you buy your books online.
Author website and social media links:
Facebook: Suzanne Moore – Author.
Suzanne Moore began her professional career as a small animal veterinarian with a love of surgery. In 2004 she returned to university to study creative writing as an aside to her veterinary career, and the balance of power between hobby and career shifted in favour of her creative pursuit.
After many years cocooned in her study Suzanne emerged rebranded as a writer, obtaining a PhD in creative writing from Murdoch University. During this time, she developed an interest in women’s narratives and time theory while juggling two small children and a household of geriatric pets.
Suzanne’s novelette, ‘The Station’—an eerie tale of a young girl’s journey through time and place—was published in Tincture in 2013.
Suzanne lives amongst the trees in the Perth hills. When she isn’t writing and the snow is deep, you can find her snowboarding in Japan with her family.