Elaine Forrestal

Love to Read Local Week – er, Month

In these strange and unpredictable times a week can easily turn into a month and a celebration can look very different from the one the organisers had imagined. Love to Read Local Week was originally planned to celebrate the work of authors on WritingWA’s Literati List. The team at WritingWA had lots of hands on and face to face activities in mind to highlight the depth of talent we have in our writing community. But, ‘The best laid plans of mice and men …’ as Rabbie Burns would have said if he had been here, ‘ … must surely gang a’wry.’ In marched covid-19 and took over  the known world. However, always innovative, WritingWA pressed on with their week of  celebration and it  blossomed – even expanded – into a whole month.

So check out the fantastic books of all the WA authors on the Literati List at WritingWA.org. including my new historical fiction, Goldfields Girl. In it you will find, among other things, the true and verifiable story of how 14 year old Clara Saunders gave up her own room, at a time when the Exchange Hotel in Coolgardie was already full, to an ailing Paddy Hannan. She could see that he needed somewhere to rest while he battled the deadly typhoid disease that had already killed so many of the prospectors in the town, which was itself barely clinging to life on the edge of the

Elaine Forrestal with Paddy Hannan and Love to Read Local logo

desert. This was in April 1893, before Paddy Hannan had made the most significant discovery of his life. The whole story is too long to tell here, but imagine how different the history of Western Australia would have been without the discovery of the Golden Mile.

Explore the Literati List, including Goldfields Girl, (Fremantle Press, 2020) and all the other fantastic stories by WA authors at: ltrl.writingwa.org