Last Word of the Week: Carmel Bendon
This week LWOTW interviews Carmel Bendon, whose debut novel Grasping at Water (great title!), will be released in the coming weeks.
(Author photo by Uber Photography)
Grasping at Water combines “mystery, history and discovery” in a way that will make readers question how they look at life.
LWOTW: Hello, Carmel, lovely to meet you. Tell us, when did you write your first story?
Carmel: My father and step-grandfather were both great story-tellers and, from when I was very young, they always took time to read to me and tell me stories. And they encouraged me to tell my own stories, long before I could even write. So that joy in sharing stories was always there. The first story I actually remember writing was when I was about seven years old. It was titled “Charlie the Chimp” and it was about a very smart chimpanzee who built his own fabulous treehouse in which the central room was a library.
LWOTW: A library! Excellent idea. What do you think of dreams, imagination, and planning?
Dreams are a connection to the unconscious.
Imagination is the yearning of the spirit.
Planning is the harnessing of our brain power.
Those three together – dreams, imagination, planning – (and underpinned by love), are the essential foundations of a good life, and the necessary “ingredients” of all great stories, of all writing that truly communicates.
LWOTW: What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
For many years I was an academic and, in that capacity, wrote a number of chapters and articles in my field. One of my books (Mysticism and Space) was very well received (and reviewed) and that was a highlight as it represented the culmination of quite a few years of research and hard work. Since I’ve turned my attention to writing fiction, the acceptance of my novel Grasping at Water by publisher Odyssey Books was definitely a highlight. For me, now, the whole writing process is a highlight because I see it as such a privilege to be able to tap into my creative as well as my logical side every day at my desk.
LWOTW: That’s impressive! What are you most busy with at the moment?
As my novel Grasping at Water is due out in September, I am busy with the admin and promotion that goes with it.
LWOTW: Grasping at Water will be published later this year. Can you tell us a little more?
Here’s the description:
“What if everything I had believed all my life was revealed to be completely wrong?”
When a young, unidentified woman is pulled alive and well from Sydney Harbour in 2013, the connections to another woman – found in similar circumstances forty years earlier – present psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley with a terrible decision as the events of the present and past begin to mirror each other and the gap between truth and illusion shrinks. When the young woman goes further and declares that she has lived continuously since coming to ‘understanding’ in the 14th century, her vivid accounts of life, love, childbirth, and loss in the Middle Ages seem so authentic that they test Kathryn’s scientific objectivity to the limit. As Kathryn delves she discovers that she is not the only one whose habitual assumptions about life have been torn asunder by an apparent experience of the miraculous in connection with the mystery woman.
LWOTW: That sounds very mysterious. If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
And the Last Word of The Week: What’s your favourite colour?