AUTHOR Elizabeth Anne Thompson, known as Elita Mackay, has woven early childhood memories from growing up in Bombala into a work of fiction in her debut novel “The Wind Queen”.
Recollections include her grandmother cooking at an old stove, a doll loved as a small child and a lemon-coloured dress sewn with a silver lurex thread.
“It’s fiction through and through, but there are elements in the book that come from those early memories,” Elita says.
The book is also about the strength of women against all odds, she says.
Set in the Snowy Mountains between the 1950s and 1970s, the main character Elspeth Abney is close to death and reflecting on different times in her life.
Driven by a love of language and finding new ways to express ideas, Elita says she initially wrote the book in large sections of poetry.
“I love spiritual poetry and I’m thrilled the book retains that poetic, flowing narrative,” she says.
“For me, language is a journey and I’ve used it to express different styles of speech and to bring fantasy elements into the story.”
Elita describes her book, published by William Webster from Inspiring Publishers, as “a beautifying pictorial display of nature; highlighting the magnificence of living in the high bushlands of Australia”.
“It also hits upon modern themes such as sexuality, divorce, addiction, societal disparity and power within relationships,” she says.
Elita and her husband, artist Greg Devenny-Mackay are the directors and owners of Lavender Art Studios in Phillip, and Greg painted the novel’s cover image.
Elita says “The Wind Queen” title refers to the strong winds in the Snowy region, with the word “queen” demonstrating the power of women.
“The story is about a strong woman living her truth and prevailing over evil,” Elita says.
“I wanted to reach out to women who may need to rise up and overcome obstacles in their own lives.”
“The Wind Queen” ($26.95) is available at Paperchain bookshop in Manuka.