Aussie Author Lizzy Chandler’s new release Snowy River Man was officially released on Sunday. To celebrate the books release she stopped by The Never Ending Bookshelf as part of her blog tour to tell us a bit about the main character’s inspiration.
Without further ado, I give you Lizzy Chandler as she reflects on her inspiration for her hero Jack Fairley in Snowy River Man.
When I first saw the cover of Snowy River Man, I was thrilled. That’s my hero: Jack Fairley! Just as I’d imagined him.
The character of Jack was inspired, in part, by my uncles, Jack and Rody. They were wheat-sheep farmers from the Riverina district. Both rode horses. Both were kind, solid men with a strength borne of long years battling drought, floods and fluctuating prices. Both had big families, too, like ours, and a special way with children.
Although I grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches, like a lot of city kids I’d visit my country cousins during school holidays. I loved staying on the farm, especially at Jack and Rita’s. That’s where I discovered the family “library” and snuck away to read ancient books like Mary Grant Bruce’s Billabong series. But there was plenty of outdoor activity, too. Rita taught us to ride and we’d help round up mobs of sheep. As we got older, Jack let us drive his ute while he stood on the trailer at the back to distribute feed, or stopped to treat a fly-blown sheep. Back at the farm, we watched, fascinated, as he strung up a wether, cut its throat and slit its belly, letting the farm dogs snap up the bloody entrails. He enjoyed our horrified reaction. “You like eating lamb’s fry, don’t you?” he asked. “Where do you think it comes from? City slickers!”
I can’t remember ever hearing a cross word from Jack. Even that time when I accelerated the ute instead of braking and he fell off the back of the trailer.
Years later I learned that he’d distinguished himself as a soldier before he settled down and had a family. He rarely spoke of it, only opening up when one of my nephews went off to Afghanistan. Jack was a modest man. I like to think my hero Jack Fairley shares some of his good qualities.
To learn more about Lizzy Chandler and her writing, head on over to the following sites:
The last time Katrina Delaney saw Jack Fairley was the morning after a one-night stand, when she discovered he was engaged to be married. Seven years later, she dreams of a missing boy – Jack’s son. Katrina has worked with police to find missing children before, and she knows she must help. But seeing Jack again comes with its own set of dangers, and Katrina fears the risks she is taking with her heart.
Jack Fairley’s standing in the community can’t keep his son from wandering off during a country rodeo. Frantic with worry, Jack is willing to do anything to find him, even put aside his scepticism and accept the help of a woman who sees his son in a dream. But when that woman turns out to be Katrina Delaney, he’s immediately suspicious. Neither Katrina nor Jack have any reason to trust each other, or the attraction that flares between them again. But trust they will have to, if they want any chance at love.
To purchase a copy of Snowy River Man, visit the following retailers: