South west author tells tale of redemption in outback
THE launch of his new thriller novel, Claypan has seen Blackall-born author William Davies draw heavily on personal experiences of country living to tell a tale of crime and redemption in the Australian outback.
Set in harsh western Queensland in 1985, the story follows a young man who comes from a dysfunctional family and is kidnapped by a pastoralist tormented by the memory of his own dead son.
Under the influence of the ancient landscape and the spirits of its first people, both the men lives are transformed.
Growing up on a 40,000-hectare property at Blackall, Mr Davies, who turns 80 next month, is no stranger to the harsh realities that come with isolated country living.
"Living in western country is truly a love-hate relationship. It's something that challenges you,” he said. "I'm all too familiar with the incredible loneliness and heat that you can experience out there.
"I came back to writing after I retired and wanted to write about the effects an isolated setting has on someone.”
Taking 18 months to write, the action of Mr Davies' second novel is centred on Charleville but spreads from Mitchell to the Simpson Desert.
"The novel heavily focuses on the relationship between the young boy and the old man finding redemption and solace in their lives,” he said.
"Everyone that has read the novel so far tells me Claypan has a really strong ending, with a feel-good message.”
Now living in Bowral, NSW, Mr Davies is focusing on writing a sequel for his first novel, Molly.
Claypan is available for purchase at Charleville, Blackall and Roma newsagencies.