Two books released for local author

Former Kingston SE resident and author Allayne Webster is releasing two novels and is dedicating one of the books, The Centre of My Everything to her stepfather, Peter Clarke.

The Centre of My Everything is set in Mildura, Victoria with country music recording artist and Kingston resident, Bec Willis, providing song lyrics which appear at the front of the novel. 

It is a young adult contemporary novel exploring social issues including binge-drinking, assault, drink-driving, racism, economic disadvantage, identity and belonging. 

Allayne said: “Initially, I stumbled across an article about a graveyard that, owing to flooding and the water table, was bringing remains to the surface. It sparked an idea about a woman’s bones being stolen from an unstable grave, and the secrets that rise with them. 

“The novel is told from four teenage points of view. 

“The lives of these teens and their parents are historically intertwined and it’s about how the past is ever present, even when we think we’ve escaped it.”

Allayne’s junior fiction novel, co-authored and illustrated by her sister Amanda Clarke, is called Sam's Surfboard Showdown.

Sam's Surfboard Showdown is set in Robe and will be launched by Robe Primary School principal Chris McLay on March 14.

“This book was a collaborative effort between myself and Amanda,” said Allayne.

“We wanted to write something set in our backyard. 

“Sport is central to country life, so that was a priority too.

“Friendly rivalry and competition are timeless universal themes for any age group, so writing about a boy who desperately wants to win a surfboard in his local nippers competition seemed a natural concept.”

Allayne has always had a pen in her hand.

“As a student, if I wasn’t doing schoolwork, I was drawing, painting, writing music, diary entries, poetry, a newsletter, anything,” she said.

”Creative writing is a love/hate relationship. 

“When it works, it’s exhilarating. When it doesn’t, it’s a nightmare. 

“I love the creative process and being in control of my own little world.

“I love the use of irony, and if I can construct an amusing scenario, I’m a happy camper. I enjoy the editorial process, but I dodge reading reviews like the plague.”

When asked if it was stressful writing and releasing the two novels Allayne replied: “Writing, no. Releasing at the same time? Just a bit! In the writing world there are two speeds: glacial or full throttle. 

“There’s a surprising amount of administration behind the scenes. 

“Fortunately, this time, I have my sister, Amanda, by my side.” 

With seven published books under her belt Allayne is showing no signs of slowing down in the upcoming year.

“I’m a 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador which means school visits and events with the Premier,” she said.

“I also have another young adult novel Sensitive due out in 2019.”

Sam’s Surfboard Showdown is available through online and in store, or direct from Scholastic via catalogue. 

The Centre of My Everything is out now, available nationally from usual bookshops and retailers.

Collins Bookshop in Mount Gambier is supporting the launch and will have both books in store.