Our own Karly has brought out another page-turner with ‘Someone Like You’ hitting bookshelves all over the country.
True to form, the writing incorporates her unique sense of situational humour while tackling contemporary themes common to rural life.
In Someone Like You, issues like tree-changing, farm diversification (and the isolating impact that can have on old-school farmers), and the shocking and violent truths behind some of our original settler histories weave together into a compelling yarn.
Karly admits this story uses a little more chuckle-power than her previous ones, making it a rather moreish book to devour.
“There are some darker issues running underneath, so for balance I’ve had to write some humorous bits in it,” Karly said.
As I was writing it I was cracking up, so it’s been good to hear that other people have found it funny too.
The book starts with its star, author Hayley Stevens – a city chick through and through – relocating to a tiny pioneering village along the picturesque MacDonald River after finding her husband in bed with her best friend.
A tree-change seems to be the best option for the 30-year-old divorcee, until she finds herself face-down in a boggy dam trying to rescue an obstinate donkey – to the amusement of her tall-drink-of-water neighbour, Luke Mason.
There quickly forms a magnetic intensity between the two that is just as irresistible for the reader, and their scenes fill your insides with warm thrills– like gulping down a too-delicious cup of hot chocolate.
And it’s this magnetism which informs the rest of the mystery at the heart of the book’s storyline.
How can two very different characters fit so well together? The answer: fate, and a love which defies time and death itself.
Karly is a self-diagnosed natural-born sceptic, so the supernatural elements in this book were a challenge for her to write.
But it’s the same scepticism that she imbues in her main protagonists that lends the story an air of believability – you find yourself willing the characters to just go with it.
As always, Karly has made good use of personal experience to enlighten the narrative – her protagonist is an acclaimed, yet self-effacing novelist, and a trip down to the Hawkesbury for a writers festival last year allowed Karly ample time to meander through the headstones of the region’s colonial and convict past.
And the menagerie that Hayley ends up unwittingly collecting throughout the course of the book is a classic example of Karly’s not-so-secret desires playing out vicariously through her heroine.
“If I didn’t have a husband keeping me in check, I’d just go bonkers [buying up animals], so it was kind of nice to be able to say yes to everything through her,” Karly said.
But with a broken foot, another book due to be released in December, and the impending opening of her first retail venture in Bowraville, Karly simply doesn’t have time for more cute distractions.
Her horse tack, country apparel and giftshop, Penny Lane (named after her beloved late horse), will open to the general public next Monday and will be housed in the old newsagents building on High St, Bowraville.
I don’t know why I’m taking on a goddamn business as well – it’s all kind of snowballed. But what I do know is it needed to be in Bowraville.Karly Lane
The new shopfront will be a perfect place for her to locally stock her ever-growing collection of stories.
But one worries, that with so much going on, Karly might find herself susceptible to a touch of writer’s block.
She says, however, that keeping maniacally busy has allowed her a continuous supply of fresh fodder for her books.
“In the back of my mind, I worry that I’ll run out of ideas, but stuff just keeps happening,” she said.