In 1994 I travelled all around Australia in a car. That road journey was the inspiration for ‘East’. I took the journey wanting to write a novel about the people I met, the places I visited: my experiences. I took notes as the journey unfolded. Soon after the journey ended I visualised the front cover of the novel. And that is exactly how the front cover looks today: 22 years later.
For 22 years I carried ‘East’ at brain edges. I was pregnant with it. I knew some day the novel would be born. I had to write it, and I had to find time to write it. I was busy in those years, mostly busy earning a living. There was never enough time to write this novel, not as I wanted to write it: slowly and carefully, putting care into each sentence. The novel has now been written. It has been born. And I’m proud of it. Jack Kerouac said his novels were his children. ‘East’ sure feels like a child of mine.
I read Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ in my twenties and loved it. I’ve wondered whether I would have taken this journey if I’d never read that book. Probably not. So I owe a big debt to Kerouac for inspiring me to go on this journey, and to write about it. And for the immediacy of Kerouac’s writing. That immediacy is there in ‘East’. The other inspiration for writing ‘East’ is there within the opening chapter: the suffocating, petty and circular working life. And the need to be free.
‘East’ is out now at these digital stores: www.books2read.com/east