The Soulweaver: The movie

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while will know that I have a very talented friend called Heidi Catherine, who is especially clever because she has written a book (which is more than enough in its own right). In addition to writing it however, Heidi has also succeeded in getting it published!

Heidi’s book is The Soulweaver, a fantasy/romance, which beautifully explores how life and love continue after death. It’s a fantastically original and deeply engaging storyline; through a series of interwoven narratives it probes the different ways love can manifest – as an ardent lover, as a soulmate, as a parent and child – and how this love can survive throughout time.

The Soulweaver begins with a cracker of an opening paragraph:

Hannah’s life began the day she died. It had happened before – both the dying and the beginning. She didn’t know it though. All she knew was now.

 

And from there we learn that Hannah, like millions of others, is an ‘old soul’ who has been returned to earth numerous times to live life again. Over the course of the novel, Heidi’s easy-flowing prose, thoughtful structure and creative imagery expertly leads us through Hannah’s journey, which this time takes an unexpected turn.

The book is split into five parts, chronicling the story of its five central characters: Hannah, Lin, Mathew, Reinier and Shen. This particular approach reminded me of the ‘Rashomon Effect’ in films where the story unfolds from each character’s perspective, sometimes (deliberately) in contradiction to other characters’ viewpoints.  Naturally I started thinking what if – as a consequence of knocking J.K Rowling and Paula Hawkins from the bestseller list – The Soulweaver was turned into a film?  What would it look like and most importantly, who would play the romantic leads?

Heidi gives us hope

I have a deep sense of pride that an actual person that I know has won a writers’ prize in a hugely competitive and highly esteemed writing competition. The person I am referring to is, of course, Heidi Catherine.  Heidi has won herself, and her story The Extra Piece, a commendation in the Hope Prize short story competition and therefore a place in the very recently published Hope: An Anthology.

heidi-0990The Hope Prize was held for the first time this year by the charity the Brotherhood of St Laurence to encourage Australian writers to tackle the subject of poverty. It’s a vital topic that simply doesn’t get enough coverage in our press, despite the alarming statistics: one in eight people and over 600,000 children are living in poverty in Australia.

I spoke to Heidi about how it feels to win a national competition centred around such a vital topic and to be commended by a judging panel which comprised actress Cate Blanchett, author Kate Grenville and the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce.

Blethering with the local bookshop

The Book Barn, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia:  a local gem

Andrew Green runs a delightful second-hand bookshop and cafe on the shores of Lake Daylesford, in a small country town about 90 minutes from Melbourne. It’s the perfect spot to indulge in some scones and tea (or some local wine) on the deck whilst contemplating life and your next book purchase.

I chatted with Andrew about his business and what it’s like to own a local bookshop.