'FLYING THROUGH CLOUDS'
- Blog Tour -
Today, I'm taking part in a blog tour for Australian author, Michelle Morgan, who has just released her latest book, Flying Through Clouds.
Welcome Michelle ...
I was inspired to write Flying through Clouds by two historical events – the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in March 1932, and the landing and take-off of Southern Cross by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith on Seven Mile Beach in January 1933. Several relatives of mine were at the opening of the Bridge and one had an official invitation. I was amazed to discover that people started climbing the bridge before it had even opened, and some of those daredevils kept a flag from the top of the arch as a souvenir. When I discovered that Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (aka Smithy) led the flypast in Southern Cross at the opening of the Bridge I was hooked.
In January 2013, I wandered into the Gerringong Historical Society Museum on the South Coast of New South Wales to see their special exhibition. It was 8o years since Smithy landed Southern Cross on nearby Seven Mile Beach at Gerroa, before taking off again early the following morning, 11 January 1933, on the first commercial flight to New Zealand. I'd been toying with the idea of somehow including this amazing historical event into the new novel I ‘d begun writing. As I wandered around the exhibition, inspecting each old photo and artefact, reading every newspaper and magazine, I became more and more excited. A couple of hours later, I walked out of the museum and headed straight to Seven Mile Beach.
After parking my car on the side of the road, I headed along one of the tracks to the beach. I walked slowly, taking in every sight, smell and sound in the surrounding bush. I ran over the sand dunes to the beach, just as I'd imagined my main character would. I was channeling the teenage boy deep inside who I could picture there on the beach as Southern Cross was landing and taking off again in 1933. That was the inspiration I needed to develop an important part of my main character's story. Over the following months, I finished the first draft of Flying through Clouds. It has taken me nearly four years to edit and reshape that raw manuscript into a novel that was ready to be published.
I am sincerely grateful to pioneering aviators like Sir Charles Kingsford Smith who flew such basic planes with canvas bodies and timber wings across oceans and continents. If it wasn't for their courage, tenacity and adventurous spirit, the airline industry wouldn't have developed at the rate it did. Many of the early aviators lost their lives, including Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, who disappeared in his plane, Lady Southern Cross, off the coast of Burma in 1935.
I hope you enjoy Flying through Clouds!
AUTHOR: Michelle Morgan
TITLE: Flying through Clouds
RRP: $18.99 Pbk
Available now at bookshops, educational and library suppliers, and can be ordered on Michelle’s website: www.michellejmorgan.com.au
Check out Sally Odgers’ blog tomorrow at http://promotemeplease.blogspot.com.au/ for Day 4 of the Flying through Clouds Blog tour.
Clancy's comment: Well done, Michelle. I hope your book sells well.