Today I would like to welcome author Fiona Higgins to The Burgeoning Bookshelf.
Well, let's see... I work in the Australian not-for-profit sector and live in Sydney with my stoic husband, three rambunctious children and two aloof goldfish. I’m also the author of a memoir (Love in the Age of Drought, Pan Macmillan) and four fiction titles: The Mothers’ Group, Wife on the Run, Fearless – published by Allen & Unwin – and my latest, An Unusual Boy, published by Boldwood Books.
What is a typical writing day for you?
In short, there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ writing day for me. I tend to squeeze the words out around my other activities, whenever and wherever that’s possible (sometimes in the Woollies car park – true story!)
Your books are primarily about relationships, parenting and motherhood; What inspired you to write about these topics?
In terms of resonance, I think most parents – especially mothers – will relate to the character of Julia, who is bearing a significant ‘mental load’. She’s running a household of five, juggling a career as a music therapist, attempting to be available and supportive for her three children – one of whom is very ‘different’ – all the while trying to keep her marriage intact with Andy, who travels a lot for his work.
While Julia does a terrific job generally, she’s weary – and she’s deeply worried about Jackson. But she just keeps going, despite being under-resourced – and when things gets tough and slightly out-of-control, she calls on inner strengths she didn’t even know she had. The character of Julia bears witness to the incredible resilience of parents under pressure; and not just parents - but carers, grandparents and teachers who exhibit incredible levels of patience and love.
While everyone will have their own experience of the book, ideally I’d like to see readers emerge from this story with a renewed commitment to inclusion. One early reviewer of the work sums it up nicely, I think:
were the key challenges you faced when writing An Unusual Boy?
Like Julia, in this hyper-busy time of life, I find myself very
time-poor. Consequently it took me almost three years to write this
book – yet readers tell me it takes them less than a day to read
it. (I almost need therapy when they say that!)
for fun…..either or?
or Coffee - Coffee (and bucketloads of it)
Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us on The Burgeoning Bookshelf.
You can connect with Fiona at the following sites:
Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her fourteen-year-old daughter, Milla, has fallen in love for the first time, and her youngest, Ruby, is a nine-year-old fashionista who can out-negotiate anyone.
But Julia’s eleven-year-old son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone. And bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy.
Then, one Monday morning, Jackson follows his new friend Digby into the school toilets. What happens inside changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.
An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.
Book purchase links
Australia & NZ only: https://www.booktopia.com.au/an-unusual-boy-fiona-higgins/book/9781800485426.html