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Emerged In My Mind

Author Interview
Winsome Board Author Interview

Justin’s Quest follows a young artist’s journey through the Australian Outback as he seeks to discover his destiny while exploring his cultural heritage. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I do not know myself what was the inspiration for the Trilogy. It just happened that several readers of “Under Surveillance” requested a sequel. I said that that story was completed, but I asked myself if it would be possible for me to write a parallel story, using the same time frame and a similar setting, which I was comfortable with. Then the idea of the station “Shangri-la” came to me one night. I saw the place and the family as the characters and the background of each just emerged in my mind. Then came the idea of starting the story with the arrival of Constable Peter with the horse he had mentioned he was intending to buy. From then on, I just watched what the characters said and did, and the story wrote itself.

I have since heard that Lee Child uses the same method when he writes his Reacher books. He just watches his character and writes down what happens. It was not until I had completed “Justin’s Quest”. and my neighbour begged to know what happened next, that I did a little thinking about how I could possibly tie up some of the loose ends which had been floating along in the sidelines. Yet even then, I had to wait until the next chapter came to me: I did not even plan anything until it happened.

What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I was not conscious of any driving ideals when writing the story. But now, with the story complete, and looking back on my life from the vantage point of eighty-three years, I realize how important it is to not disregard the gifts with which we come to this world. Yet we also come with lessons to learn too. I did not attempt to become a professional artist until I turned fifty, although I could paint since childhood. See my website, for my paintings. I knew very well the difficulties Justin faced in surviving as an artist. I have always been interested in the complexity of the old Aboriginal culture, and I am very aware how difficult it is to integrate some of the Aboriginal ways of viewing reality with our individualistic and competitive modern society.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Again, I was not conscious of the themes when writing the story. In retrospect, the problems of family violence and drug abuse do interest me. I am more interested in possible solutions than dwelling on the problems. I did not think of Justin as being in constant danger, after all, he walked the streets of Darwin even at night without experiencing a sense of danger. His capture in “Confluence” was almost an accident from his foolhardiness. I am interested in seeking solutions to post traumatic stress, and the underlying problem of Aboriginal self confidence after their lived experience of alienation and powerlessness in the period of white domination. And I am interested in Aboriginal methods of psychological healing, which are just beginning to be given a degree of credibility. Actually, I thought it was a positive book rather than an analysis of darkness and danger.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I do not know if another book will be “given to me”. Obviously, Justin and Djet’s future will present many challenges, but I am not really comfortable in the digital world and the city. and that is where their future will take them. There will be the problem of changing the Aboriginal attitude of loyalty to their “mob” or tribal affiliation, to a wider view of the place of indigenous people in the modern, multicultural Australian society. There will be the continuing problem of how an artist can survive. A possible “bad” character could be someone who profits from Aboriginal art without giving due recognition to its origins. For now, I must learn how to promote the books I have written, and the original paintings and prints I have yet to dispose of.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Why attempt the uncertain career path of an author.
Why be bothered by a heritage no one else in the family believes is of any importance.

Justin’s Quest

In the wild Australian Outback, Justin Fielding seeks to find his destiny. A young artist on the cusp of manhood, Justin wrestles with uncertainty as he attempts to balance his dreams to become an artist with his family’s expectations of him. Searching far and wide to find himself, Justin explores the mysterious Australian Northern Territory, taking odd jobs as he continues to improve his artistic skills. Intrigue and secrets abound wherever Justin goes, from the isolated cattle stations to the urban centers. As Justin fights to pursue his dreams, dangers surround the young man, as well as a whisper of a possible romance. Can Justin hope to discover his place in the world and choose his own destiny, or will he forever lose all that is truly important?

Justin’s Quest by Winsome Board, book two of the Shangri-La Trilogy, is an engaging adventure steeped in Australian culture. Although this is the middle of a trilogy, this tale stands on its own without the reader feeling a loss of context. Board includes a wealth of information about the Aboriginal history of Australia, as well as the complex lives of those with Aboriginal heritage as they fight to balance the values of their culture in an ever-shifting modern society. Justin’s struggle to learn more about his heritage was real and spoke volumes to my heart. In fact, the story, written in the style of a diary, was so incredibly realistic that I felt as if I was actually reading the journal of an aspiring young artist.

Board does not shy away from heavy themes such as domestic violence and addiction in this somber narrative as the history and culture of Australia are explored. Written as an actual diary account, there are many loose ends and mysteries that may never be solved and motivations that will forever remain unclear. There are a few moments of implied intimacy, but these are handled with discretion as Justin fights to understand his own heart. Finally, the deep story comes to an ending that, while not entirely conclusive, leaves the reader perfectly satisfied and curious about what book three will hold.

Justin’s Quest is deep and rich in cultural awareness and is an excellent find for readers who enjoy adventures in world history. Containing violence, language, drug references, and mention of domestic abuse, this story is perfect for mature readers looking to expand their literary horizons. A deeply touching tale of self-discovery in a dangerous and confusing world, Justin’s Quest is an engrossing journal-style narrative unlike any other.

Pages: 140 | ASIN : B0BYPCQB78

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