Blog

Inspired by history

Michelle Morgan - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In January 2013, I wandered into the quaint Gerringong Historical Society Museum on the South Coast of New South Wales to see their special exhibition. It was 8o years since Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (aka 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 was 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 sandy tracks to the beach. I walked slowly, taking in every sight, sound, smell, taste and texture in the surrounding bush. I ran over the sand dunes to the beach, just as I'd imagined my main character would. I was channelling the teenage boy deep inside who I could picture there on the beach when Southern Cross landed and took off  in 1933.

That historic event was the hook 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 will be published in April 2017. I went back to the museum recently to thank them and to once again be mesmerised by their modest and unpretentious exhibition.

I am sincerely grateful to the Gerringong Historical Society Museum for bringing to life what I had read about in books and online resources. But I am most indebted 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.

» Share this post

Recent Posts

Tags

southern highland news berkelouw books ulladulla library gerringong historical society museum potts point bookshop Quirindi Library flying through clouds deep sky sophie masson valentine's day shoalhaven libraries theatre combined book exhibit eBook mall historical novel society australasia too late for love kate gordon children's / YA literature reconciliation society of children's book writers and illustrators paperback St Paul's Primary School ainslie + gorman arts centre books read3r'zrevu State Library of NSW kobo awards kids' book review elizabeth gilbert jump for jordan Magpies ANZAC Day reviews YA fiction lachlan philpott barnes&noble seven mile beach lovereading4kids writing process blog hop Port Macquarie Library nook griffin theatre songs allen & unwin MacLean's Booksellers mother's day skylight books scbwi australia ubud writers & readers festival interviews libraries playwrights retreat Good Reading australian literature berkelouw book barn sydney opera house dymocks nowra library author talks australian standing orders goodbye frankie jackie french australian reading hour clancy tucker Spotlight On southern highlands writers' festival good reading magazine southern cross self-publishing deb robins festival of golden words jamberoo public school iTunes book fairs book depository sydney mechanics school of arts library illustrators Dymock's Canberra barbara braxton gorman arts centre act writers centre Abbey's Bookshop ReadPlus children's book council of australia bradman museum Gordon Library spark award 2017 book launch sandy fussell Bowral Art Gallery sharon mcguinness bookloons arielle gamble canberra WritingNSW racing the moon blog tour CBCA Children's Book Week Reading Time Grafton Library highlife magazine playwriting amazon kindle Bookshop Bowral bookshops festival of dangerous ideas captain tobias furneaux book cover design martin luther king, jr Moss Vale Campus Library bushwalking teachers' notes di bates children's book council of australia NSW branch amazon writing workshops decimal currency ann harth literary lunch Waterstones writers' festivals fishpond holidays eBooks.com middle grade fiction refugee week indigenous literacy foundation Anniversary Day refugees literary events hnsa tasmania luke johnson ubud, bali Woollahra Library copyediting Historical Novel Society book trailer Taree Library teen fiction michelle morgan autumn revel all the buzz about books playwriting festival 19 March 1932 mETAphor bologna children's book fair bookstop[ narrabundah college national simultaneous storytime NAIDOC week buzz words book tour goodreads hans christian andersen australian federation of graduate women elaine ousten indigenous literacy day better read than dead goodreads giveaway bay of fires festivals scbwi believing Mitchell Library booktopia Books + Publishing Lismore Library Muswellbrook Library indie publishing telopea park school international children's book day 2014 CBCA book of the year awards eBook children's book council of australia illawarra south coast Reader's Companion Armidale authors lyn linning coming-of-age fiction atyp smsa library mabo day sir charles kingsford smith alexander mccall smith kindle tom keneally centre Newcastle writers' festival 12 curly questions bill condon readhowyouwant just write for kids big book day out historical fiction Broadbeach Library nsw writers' centre Dymocks Brisbane tanika gupta bookworld sally odgers heart of australia school visits giveaway sydney spark award older readers 2017 author videos chloe mauger frankfurt book fair smashwords Sydney Harbour Bridge byron writers festival 14 february 1966 fran knight Paperchain Manuka Australia Day griffin press children's book council of australia national conference romy sharp QBD

Archive