To celebrate the release of Persuade Me, I thought it would be fun to do a series focusing on stories that didn’t make it into the book.
If you’ve been following along these past months leading up to release, you’ll know that much of Persuade Me is based on real events. Things that happened to myself or my family. Real stories that I wove into the fictional story. And I did that by writing those events as I remember them.
However, sometimes our memories can be somewhat skewed.
As I found out when I ran this memory by my parents…
Away back in the early 1980s, Christmas was fast approaching and as usual, we’d packed up and were leaving our home in Queensland to head south to Victoria for the holidays. Mum was from Victoria and we always, always headed to my grandparents’ house for Christmas.
Sometimes we’d have to drive through the night to get there on time. Sometimes we didn’t arrive until partway through Christmas Day. But, until I was a teenager, we always managed to make it to the farm for the holiday. Car troubles didn’t stop us. Trailer troubles only held us up until Dad was able to make the necessary repairs. Inclement weather didn’t even stop our trek south.
Until we came to a flooded river only a couple of hours from the station where we lived. Our way was completely blocked.
I can remember swirling brown water stretching from one side of the river to the other. Trees poked out of the watery depths, but to my young eyes, not a single sign of the bridge was visible.
I also remember the old man parked in his car on our side of the river. He walked over to talk to Dad and told Dad where to drive. His directions were… pretty basic.
Drive straight in that direction until you reach a certain tree, and then turn to the right and aim for a tree on the opposite bank. That would take us across the bridge and we’d be on our way again.
I can remember looking at the trees, not knowing which one we were aiming for. I can remember the water swirling around us as we crossed over. And I can remember being worried that we’d miss the tree where we had to turn and end up in the river itself.
But that’s where my memory stops.
In preparation for writing this post, I spoke to my parents and asked them about that day.
Only to learn that…
“We don’t remember any bloke. Just us. The Belyando was flooded over the bridge which had no sides. Dad walked across then came back. Dad carried you and Randall and the rest of us walked across with him, hanging on tight to him and each other. Then Dad went back and drove the short wheel base Toyota over towing a small trailer that floated crossways behind him. This was about 10:30 at night. The bridge was fairly short but it was narrow.
Wouldn’t consider it for even a second now.”
I have to wonder what events my childish mind combined to create the one I remember in connection to that night. Was that old man parked there another time we traveled that way? Am I remembering the swirling water from when Dad carried me across? Obviously, I don’t remember seeing the posts or railing on the side of the river because… there were none!
I definitely don’t remember being carried across the river that night, although I do remember Dad carrying us across Mistake Creek to get home to Frankfield one day around this same time period. That event was entirely different though, and the creek we crossed that day is quite a ways from where we crossed the Belyando.
But that all makes me wonder… how accurate are the rest of my memories? Stop by again tomorrow and we’ll look at another event that may or may not have happened the way I remember it. (Read to the end to enter the giveaway.)
More about Persuade Me
One horrible misunderstanding. Two heartbroken people.
For seven long years, Anne Elliot of Kellynch Station quietly mourned the loss of her first love. Now that she’s finally over Fred for good, her sister offers the perfect escape: Uppercross.
This move, from one cattle station to another, offers new friends, new responsibilities, and now that she’s out from under her father’s domineering thumb, a whole new world of possibilities.
The sky is the limit.
Or maybe the sky is the perfect place for helicopter mustering pilot Fred Wentworth to spend his days. It took a while for him to regroup after their breakup, but now he’s back, he’s successful, and he’s put the past so far behind him he doesn’t even think about Anne more than a couple dozen times a day.
Life is good.
Or it was until he quite literally runs into the one person he hoped to never see again. After that, what’s a bloke to do other than rethink every lie he’d convinced himself was the truth?
Although they both seem willing to admit they were wrong all those years ago, when things take a bad turn, Anne is left to wonder… Is it too late for a reconciliation?
Persuade Me: Austen’s Persuasion meets the rugged Australian bush—plus dingoes.
Before you go, for a chance to win an ebook copy of Persuade Me leave a comment and tell me whether you’d have crossed that river or turned back. I’m pretty sure I’d be telling the kids sorry, but we’re staying home for Christmas this year!
Entries close at midnight, so come back tomorrow to get your entry in for that post!