Today we celebrated the launch Of Carol’s new book Black Mountain by Colleen Keating. Many of the writing community and readers and Carols family and friends gathered in the atmospheric book shop Better Read then Dead in Newtown for the celebration. I felt very privileged to be asked to launch.
Launch by Colleen Keating
Carol Chandler’s Black Mountain.
Good afternoon everybody.
Firstly I invite a pause for us to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, on which we gather the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and to pay respect for Elders past and present.
There are some new faces here so I will introduce myself. My name is Colleen Keating. I belong to the Women Writers Network that meets every Wednesday at 1pm at Roselle Writers Centre. All women writers are welcome. That is where Carol and I met.
When Carol was being seduced by the Blue Mountains she visited our newly downsized apartment trying to make her decision. The Mountains won and she set out on a mammoth journey to her beautiful home and garden in Leura .
What a gathering in this wonderful environment of books and music and art, and what a great
honour for Carol that you have taken the time to be with her to celebrate.
Most of you would be aware writing is a lonely trek, a long haul, a footslog, an odyssey. Sometimes lost in the bush, sometimes all at sea, sometimes desert-dry, sometimes energising but mostly a solitary and gruelling task.
As a writing community we appreciate that, and we are here to honour the loneliness of the long distance writer and to celebrate Carol’s successful outcome.
And what an outcome. Black Mountain by Carol Chandler published by Ginninderra Press, a small but very prestigious publishing press in South Australia.
Black Mountain is a psychological thriller – and what a thriller. What a journey! We are taken by the narrator Sarah into the back waters of a country area, a place up in the hills not far from the coast in a lonely desolate ‘neck of the woods’. Sarah, a teacher has escaped from this town and this life, but on Page one is drawn back into its eerie world trying to make sense of the past and find out what really happened to her brother Liam who died in a house fire. By page eight we the readers are woven into the mystery and for us, there is no return .
You and I know how easy it is to get caught back into the dark web of our past, – into the tangle of relatives, families , friends. . . where there are all the hurts and intrigues, suicide, murders, lovers, drugs and especially secrets, lies and cover ups.
People are watching …..the threat of dogs always in the background..… the sharpness of the knife edge that glints in the moon light……. that scary feeling you are being followed and that strand of foreshadowing…. and of course the world of gossip.
Even when we escape to the coast, the ocean doesn’t give us reprieve, not even a breather. We are kept in the dark web of intrigue.
Carol has given us a thriller.
Everyone loves a good mystery…… but here there is the added complexity of human psychology, what’s beneath the surface in human action and reaction .
The pivotal characters Freya and Tyler and the mystery of Lola a young girl who has disappeared, gives us a sense of place and how that connects with identity.
And with the pains of the past that hold their secrets and hold us in their mystery, we become caught in the struggle and search for meaning.
What is it all about? ……. We are immersed in a thriller . . . a metaphor for life ,where
the questions materialise at every turn, but the answers are just beyond our grasp.
Black Mountain, was short listed in a recent competition where the judges’ comment, noted in the blurb on the back cover was “it is a deftly written novella “-
The many characters, that fill this small world of intrigue, even Aden and Radic and the dogs Nero and Jet and the mountain all are colourful and well formed. One could possibility recognise archetypes from Carl Jung’s collective unconscious but this is held lightly, This is not a philosophy book, it is a short psychological thriller to take to bed, or curl up one rainy afternoon and enjoy an escape for a few hours.
Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter says:
“Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic”
and Black Mountain has the magic of a good read.
I congratulate Carol and proudly declare Black Mountain launched.
May you all enjoy reading it.