Oh, how sweet it is to see your first book online or on a bookstore shelf…It doesn’t get old – and personally, I think finishing the second novel is an even bigger achievement. All of us, aspiring authors, are working so hard towards the dream of writing well, publishing often, and building an audience. So it’s my pleasure to introduce an author who has just published her second novel – please put your hands together for P J Byer, the author of Trial Bay Series!
You can learn more about P J Byer on her Amazon author page.
Corrosion – Book 2 in this YA series, is written from a unique angle – teen and parent tell their side of the story. Secrets exposed shatter lives.
Cover by Black Ant Australia Designs
Well, it’s done. The second book is complete, and is really a prequel to Book 1 Collision. That book traces the arc of runaway, Stella, and her father, Paul Lawson’s fractured relationship to their tentative reunion in Trial Bay. Their story hints at the many lies buried in the heart of their family history.
Now, Corrosion delves into these generational secrets and deception. In alternating chapters, it unravels the story of Stella’s father, Paul, and his mother, Mary. I’ve tried to make it fast-paced – a page-turner – and there’s quite of bit of action. Swimming at Bondi beach, an unexpected surfing accident, an hysterically funny visit to Luna Park, a luxury Pacific cruise, an atmospheric visit to Trial Bay gaol, a hasty marriage, a dangerous assault, a tumultuous and romantic reunion, conflicts about choice of school…and there’s more! It’s all happening.
Being a born and bred Sydney girl, it was great fun setting much of the story here, as well as the beautiful Trial Bay on the NSW mid-north coast. Our spectacular Sydney harbour with all the sea craft criss-crossing it, spanned by the Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House in the foreground…I’m biased, but it really is the most beautiful harbour in the world. And I’ve seen a few! This prequel covers fifty years, spanning 1958 to 2008, and the research was intriguing, trying to imagine myself in Sydney streets with trams sixty years ago, and bring them to life.
Giving both mother and son alternating chapters, and vivid, authentic voices, was one of the biggest challenges with Corrosion. But this was essential because I wanted the reader to invest in, and understand, each character. Perhaps, they may not always like them, but there is a growing empathy. And while this story charts the disintegration of a parent/ child relationship, it also delves into passionate romances, as well as solid friendships.
The driving force behind my writing is my fascination with how people tick. Aren’t we all intrigued by this? What causes people to make certain decisions and choices in life and relationships? Why do some relationships, be they parent/ child, partners, siblings, friends fragment over time, and others flourish? Some relationships stumble, and eventually refresh; others, after one obstacle or more, never recover.
Paul has several positive connections – the warm attachment between him and his housekeeper, Beryl; his closeness to his unreliable, yet loving, father, Don; his budding romance with Sally; his friendship with his school mate, Ray. He is a teenager struggling to establish himself and make his needs and wants heard with his mother and father…and not always succeeding.
Photograph by Flora Greenslade.
Despite her best intentions, Mary can’t escape the rejection of her childhood and disappointments as an adult. I find it interesting how some people can move beyond their past hurts – but Mary cannot. And these difficulties tarnish her life. Rust, like the metal objects crumbling in the weather in the photo above, dissolving over time, is a key motif in the story to underline the pain of deteriorating relationships. However, I have tried to balance this with many loving and sustained relationships as well.
There’s much to savour and enjoy in Corrosion. It’s a thought-provoking book about family relationships in particular, set in a time in Sydney already long past. Check it out on Amazon.