What do you pack to pursue your dream, and what do you leave behind? That’s the big question behind Noosa author Julie Holland’s new book.
This narrative, familiar to many of us, asks whether we are ready to take the leap and risk losing the comfort of the familiar, to find out if the grass really is greener on the other side.
At a certain age, after a lifetime of building family, friends and lifestyle, to take up this challenge there can be a great deal of things to farewell, for instance ageing parents, adult children, emotional ties and life-long physical locations.
When it comes down to it, Ms Holland says to think about this: “Well, what would happen if you didn’t do it?” The answers are plentiful and, of course, it all depends on the person and circumstances.
However, if you don’t take the risk, one of the scenarios is living the rest of your life with a brain full of simmering ideas that have never been brought to life. On the other hand, if you take the plunge and transform those ideas into reality, well, rather like Ms Holland, you could have
the foundation for a colourful book.
Ms Holland is a 65-year-old business owner, wife and mother of three sons. She says her own life has definitely provided some of the storyline in her recently released book, That Summer in Nautilus Cove. But it is not an autobiography, instead her natural curiosity about people is conjured up, developed and woven into the narrative of her novel.
“Yes, my own story of moving to Noosa after the children left home and taking the risk of buying a retail business has helped to shape the story,” she admits. “Greg [my partner] and I had never been in retail.”
Twelve years ago, complete with a little trepidation and a big desire for adventure, Ms Holland said yes to her dreams. And sporting plenty of gusto and ambition, moved from Victoria to Noosa.
She started a creative retail business in Hastings Street, while socially she set about finding new friends and networks.
Although she left much behind to make way for the new, she brought along her life-long creative writing habit. Earlier in her life she published two children’s books and more recently a book of verse.
The move served to further harness her passion for creative writing and giving her the storyline for a novel. Ms Holland acknowledges the research tool she uses to add colour and vibrancy to her characters requires spending a good deal of time people-watching. “I often sit in cafes with my laptop and write descriptions about the people I see passing by,” she says.
From these jottings and her own life, the author has created the protagonist of her book, a lady named Marnie Fawkner.
Marnie is fed up with the demands of adult children, job hunting and property priorities. If she could live her dream, she would snap her fingers and change everything. It turns out she doesn’t have to snap her fingers. Instead, an opportunity arises when her sister Libby proposes that she house sit in the beachside paradise of Nautilus Cove, in Queensland.
In a ‘why not’ moment, Marnie accepts the request and from there the fun, the risks, the fraught moments of delight emerge as other opportunities challenge her to take the road less travelled and pursue her own dreams.
Ms Holland says in some ways, you could describe her contemporary style of fiction as a voyage of self-discovery. It’s about the value of risk-taking and opening up to your full potential – no matter what your age.
You can purchase a copy of the book at Hearts and Minds Art in Noosa Heads, Annie’s Books on Peregian, Village Bookshop in Noosa Heads and at getbook.at/NautilusCove.
It retails for $24.95.