Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1960's with Phillipa Nefri Clark &The Stationmaster's Cottage

This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1960s

Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Phillipa Nefri Clark, the author of The Stationmaster’s Cottage so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1960s.

Tell us a little about yourself

Thanks, Pauline. With my two young adult sons, husband, and black Labrador, I live near in the Macedon Ranges in Victoria, Australia. We have a few acres and a family pet supplies business in our local small town. Now that I’m working less hours in the business, I am able to pour myself into what has been a lifelong obsession with writing fiction. In the past I’ve written everything from non-fiction to screenplays, but always return to novels.

What inspired you to write about the 1960s?

I’m a child of the 1960s and my early memories revolve around misty beaches, small towns, and secrets. We moved a lot and I was often left to my own devices which fuelled my imagination. Setting part of the book in those times was fitting.

Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away

There are two stories, one set in the 1960s and one set in 2017, but they are connected through an old cottage in the seaside town of River’s End. Christie Ryan is a successful makeup artist who works in film and is shocked when her estranged grandmother leaves her the cottage. River’s End is the opposite of her life, yet she is drawn into a mystery revealed slowly and emotionally through letters she discovers in the attic.

Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?

The Stationmaster’s Cottage itself is based upon a real one close to where I live. It is as old and has seen many people and stories within its walls. I drew inspiration from two songs by Aussie group Icehouse (Man of Colours & Where the River Meets the Sea). Incidentally, Icehouse have both this book and its follow up.

Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

Pure fiction, although many of my pet supplies shop customers enjoy speculating on who they might be based on.

If research was necessary what did this involve?

Although the scenes in 1960s Melbourne were short, I wanted to create a sense of the city and watched some very interesting old videos depicting life then. For River’s End (a fictional town), I chose to place it along the Great Ocean Road, so made several trips to the region and joined a number of social media sites about it. We have a wonderful historical site here called Trove, which is invaluable for writers of any history.

Please add all your social media links below and make them hyperlinks if you can.

Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.


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