Monday, February 8, 2016

Twice stolen by Susanne Timpani


Are you Aboriginal?
This is the most common question I am asked after describing my novel. 

Twice stolen is a work of Inspirational Fiction. The main character, Dimitri, discovers he may have Aboriginal heritage. The story provides just enough historical and cultural information to pique the readers' curiosity to go away and discover more for themselves. 

I am not an Indigenous Australian and this novel reflects the journey I have undertaken to learn more. Dimitri grew up with as much - or little - knowledge as the average Australian child. When faced with the question of his identity, he is forced to look and learn. Regardless of the outcome of his search, the richness it brings to his life is invaluable.

The first book launch I ever attended was the autobiography of Aboriginal author Doris Kartinyeri, with Kick the Tin. Doris was stolen from her crib in a SA country hospital when she was less than one month old. The launch was held on the empty grounds of the Children's Home where she grew up. The Home had gone and the land returned to its natural scrub, protected as national park. In my spirit I heard the children's laughter. And felt their pain.

I felt shame at my ignorance of our nation's dark history. As an Australian writer, I needed to know more, and I needed to write about what I found.

As well as personal research, I have been blessed by Aboriginal people willing to share snippets of their and their families' life story. 

I wish to acknowledge the generosity of Lyn Lovegrove Niemz, award-winning Ngarrindjeri artist, in painting the stunning border on the front cover of Twice stolen. Like myself, Lyn works in the health and welfare field and I treasure the insights she has allowed me to have into her world and the world of her people.

I have taken a risk in writing this story. As a non-Aboriginal some may say it is not my story to tell. But I have listened to my heart. If just one reader learns something new and gains deeper respect for the resilience and commitment of Aboriginal people to overcome our nation's dark past, the risk has been worthwhile.

The characters in the genre of Inspirational Fiction face life's challenges through the eyes of their Christian faith. Dimitri and Leah fall in love with the biblical Song of Songs (or Solomon). A Blog post with 
Adele Jones tomorrow explores this perspective of Twice stolen.


Twice stolen won the CALEB prize for an unpublished manuscript. It is due for release on Valentine's Day weekend in South Australia. The book is published by Armour Books and Susanne will have the honour of the publisher, Annie Hamilton, travel to SA to launch the book.


Further information on Susanne's website: http://www.susannetimpani.com.au/
or Goodreads

16 comments:

  1. Great post Susanne and well done on writing such a remarkable story. I am hooked and am waiting to read your book. Congratulations on winning the unpublished manuscript prize in the Caleb competition and congratulations on the publishing of your book.

    You mused on whether it is your story to tell because you are not aboroginal. On the contrary, I believe that that's exactly what God requires of us—to stand up for others in our world who have a story worth telling. So you are doing it right.

    Warm wishes for a great launch and every blessing with 'Twice Stolen'. It has grabbed my heart already.

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  2. Thank you Anusha for your encouraging reply. It has been the greatest of honours to write this story. I am grateful too for the support of people such as belong to Omega Writers who managed the CALEB prize. Together - and especially with Annie Hamilton - the novel achieved publication.

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  3. I realize the great amount of research that went into your story, Susanne. I'm sure it will be welcomed with open arms in the indigenous community, besides other readers of romance. I love the unusual twist in your main characters reading and loving the Song of Songs! A fascinating and truly Australian story awaits readers.

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    1. Thanks Rita, I really hope so; its a story that needs to be told. I have invited Doris to the launch and if she's well enough to come she will, so I'm really excited!

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  4. Congrats on winning the Caleb unpublished manuscript and all the best with the launch. Twice Stolen sounds like a fascinating book and while there is debate about whether 'white' Australians should write in the voice of Aboriginal or First Nations people - I can hear your heart. So cool that Lyn Lovegrove Niemz, award-winning Ngarrindjeri artist loved you book enough to paint the stunning border on the front cover.

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    1. I have been truly blessed with support. I have no doubt when we write to glorify God, His hand protects us and guides us. There will be opposition of that I'm sure, but even Lyn said to me all artists receive that!

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  5. Warm congratulations again, Susan. The cover looks lovely and I can just imagine what a surreal moment this must be for you in your life, after waiting as long as you have to see this book through to publication. Well done--and enjoy this special moment!

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    1. Thanks Jo-Anne, it is a moment to treasure: my work colleagues are gently teasing me about the smile that just won't leave my face! You have encouraged me all along, and this cannot be underestimated.

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  6. Congratulations on winning the Caleb! Very much looking forward to the launch and to buying & reading Twice Stolen. Thank you for your courage in writing ABoriginal characters. Despite the controversy that has been attached to so doing, I consider that it indicates full acceptance & integration of Aboriginal stories & characters in the full panorama of Australian literature and culture.

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    1. Thanks Rhonda, and I hope you really enjoy the book.

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  7. Hi Susanne,
    Congratulations on such a polished finished product after such a lot of work. You told the story really well, and I'm sure many readers will enjoy it.

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    1. Thanks Paula for your support and affirmation, yes you have read the story from the early stages and with everyone's help it's ready at the exact time it is meant to be.

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  8. Congrats on winning the Caleb unpublished award. I am currently reading this one. Hope to get it read and review posted on Goodreads before the launch date Susanne. All the best with it. Lovely cover.

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  9. Thanks for sharing the story behind the book Susanne. It's a subject that really interests me also, so I'll look forward to reading it. Have just started. I hope it goes really well and good luck for the book launch.

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    1. Thanks Nola for your encouragement, I hope you enjoy the book!

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