Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Rebecca Fraser!
We’re thrilled to welcome the wonderful, award-winning author, Rebecca Fraser to our blog, to talk about her incredibly intriguing and stunningly written middle grade novel, Sea Glass. Only just released, this book is sure to mesmerise readers as soon as it hits the shores! Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your story. 🙂
About the Author
Rebecca Fraser is an award-winning Mornington Peninsula-based author of genre-mashing fiction for children and adults. Her work has won, been shortlisted for, and honourably mentioned for numerous awards including the Aurealis, Australian Shadows, Ditmars, and Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor’s Writing Award. Rebecca’s publications include three middle grade novels, a collection of short fiction, and over sixty short stories, poems, and articles in various anthologies, journals, and magazines.
Rebecca holds a MA in Creative Writing. To provide her muse with life’s essentials she copywrites and edits in a freelance capacity and operates StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshops… however her true passion is storytelling.
Say G’day at www.rebeccafraser.com
WHO wrote and published this book?
Sea Glass was written by me (Rebecca Fraser) and will be published by Wombat Books on 1 March 2023 (eBook and Audio Books to follow).
WHAT is it about?
I’m delighted to introduce you all to Sea Glass, my new contemporary Australian middle grade novel.
Sea Glass is a coming-of-age family drama for readers aged 7-12 that explores how, despite difference and disaster, a generational gap is bridged over a shared enthusiasm for sea glass. Sea Glass celebrates the importance of family and environment… and proves you’re never too old to go treasure hunting.
Here’s what you can expect:
When eleven-year-old Cailin’s mother takes a contract job on Victoria’s eastern coast, Cailin’s holiday plans are ruined. Worse, they’re staying at her eccentric grandfather’s shack at Whitefoam Cove. Cailin barely remembers him, let alone knows him. Grandpa doesn’t have Wi-Fi, and his television is older than him. The ghost of her dead father is everywhere and, to make matters worse, she’s left her cricket bat at home. How will she make the team now? And how will she keep in touch with her best friend, Josie? It’s going to be the worst summer ever.
But life with Grandpa proves to be anything but boring. There’s treasure to be found at Whitefoam Cove, and Cailin’s collection of sea glass is growing rapidly. But just when cricket-mad Cailin and Grandpa finally feel like they’re making a connection, disaster strikes… and Cailin knows it’s all her fault.
What is your favourite part of this book?
I won’t give any spoilers, but I really enjoyed writing the lead up to the ‘catastrophic’ event in Sea Glass, where Cailin’s choices and actions emotionally wound her grandfather. The fallout from this scene and Cailin’s remorse kept my fingers glued to the keyboard!
Another favourite part is where Cailin discovers a ‘smiley face’ carved into Grandpa’s wooden kitchen table. Her father (who died when Cailin was two so she never got to know him) carved it with a butter knife when he was about Cailin’s age. It is a visual clue and connector to the dad she never knew, and acts as one of several incidents that help bring Cailin closer to him.
WHEN did you begin writing this book?
Sea Glass was written relatively quickly – maybe across five or six months in 2021. A good chunk of it was written at a writing retreat on Phillip Island, and another at a friend’s kitchen table in Chum Creek!
When is its release / launch date?
Release date is 1 March, with the official launch to be held at 2pm on Saturday 1 April at gorgeous Antipodes Gallery and Bookshop at Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.
WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?
I live on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne. During lockdown our travel bubble was restricted to a five kilometre radius for a permitted one hour of daily exercise. Thankfully, my five kilometres included the beach! Beachcombing, a pastime I’d always enjoyed for its meandering freedom, became my physical and emotional salvation. It also sparked the idea for Sea Glass.
As a writer, my creativity seemed to sputter like a dying flame with each passing month of lockdown. My daily beach walks revived me. Characters began to leave their footprints in the sand beside me—a city-dwelling girl, and her estranged grandfather who lived a hermit-like existence on a remote coastline. Their characters and plotlines grew with each ebb and flow of the tide, and when their voices grew from a whisper to a roar in my head, I knew it was time to commit their story to paper.
WHY is this book meaningful to you?
I love writing books with heart on issues that matter. I’m also a long-term sea glass enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by the science behind how sea glass is formed, and how the history of each piece tells its own remarkable story. Sea Glass is meaningful to me because it combines two of my greatest passions!
Why would its message resonate with readers?
It is my hope that readers will find an entertaining, yet topical and relevant read. Cailin is a relatable character – a likeable yet flawed protag. She can be selfish and impulsive, feisty and theatrical, yet she is also kind-hearted and perceptive, a good friend, and disciplined when it comes to her beloved cricket training.
Sea Glass delivers messages of acceptance and open mindedness, navigating grief and loss, along with the dynamics of family, friendship, and bridging the generational gap. Environment and sustainability are also woven in: sea glass is nature’s ‘jewels and treasures’ forged by the ocean, and one of nature’s greatest ‘trash to treasure’ phenomena.
HOW do you feel about the illustrations / cover design? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?
I simply adore the cover of Sea Glass! From the moment I saw it, I knew it was perfect. It captures the coastal vibe, and adds an air of mystery, while including a good dose of Australiana with the beautiful banksia. The flora is repeated throughout the chapter headers, and on the rear cover there are two sets of footprints in the sand: Cailin’s and Grandpa’s. It’s just so lovely!
How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
I’ve been working hard on promos, including interviews and articles for local and industry media, along with podcast episodes. Early reviews have been very heartening with Books+Publishing stating, “Rebecca Fraser is a vibrant voice in junior fiction,” which made my day.
You can purchase Sea Glass from your favourite bookstore, or online retailer (and Wombat Books). I hope you all enjoy it 😊
Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration and meaning behind Sea Glass. Sounds like a true treasure! 🙂
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