Now, a few months on, I checked back to see what comments there were about her review – fun to read but I’m pleased those who commented stayed with it to realise it wasn’t the ‘worst book’ she had ever reviewed, which her first few words might have implied!
As authors, we never quite know what people are going to say about our books. But a good review is heartwarming.
I hope it’s a chance to introduce American readers to Australian fiction.
Oh, and yes, there is another book of the Belleville family in the works. Miraculously a trilogy turned into a …. I don’t know what the word is for a series of four books. Anyone?
As I begin to write my 4th Belleville novel, I was reflecting on my pleasure in having my fictional characters inhabit a world that is not entirely fictional. I enjoy grounding my characters in real environments, (where practical, I hasten to add).
I originally set out to write a trilogy. With that completed, I still felt there was more to write about the Belleville family as the next generation comes to adulthood. So watch this space.
Scattered throughout my books you’ll find references to real places (some pictured above) – in Book 1, Julia’s Story, St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral (Rockhampton) and the Criterion Hotel (Rockhampton) are important backdrops to the story.
Among my treasured possessions is a powder compact, ironically from 1942, which belonged to my mother’s younger sister. She died at 16 from pernicious anaemia – an entirely preventable disease these days – long before I was born but my mother kept some keepsakes of her sister. This small item (pictured above) is described in Book 1 as a gift to Julia.
There are many other examples of events and places that are real throughout my Belleville trilogy. Can you spot them?
I invite you to sign up for my email list to hear more about my books, special offers, book club bulk buys and new release dates.
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.
THE BELLEVILLE TRILOGY - http://jmarymasters.com
Book 1: Julia's Story
Book 2: To Love, Honour & Betray
Book 3: Return to Prior Park
I wonder how many authors get asked this question? Is your book based on a real person?
And in fact some great fictional heroes have become so real to the reading public, they are treated as if they are real.
Think Hercule Poirot, proudly claimed by the Belgians. Or Sherlock Holmes. Or in more recent times, Ian Rankin’s creation Inspector Rebus, who, aged in real time, became too old for the police force.
In writing my family saga with its mixture of family drama, deep buried secrets, a terrible crime, infidelity and romance, beginning at a time when the world was at war, I was tapping into stories my father told of our local district, complemented by my own research.
American men stayed behind in my local city after the war to marry their sweethearts and become Australian citizens. Some Australian girls headed to America after marrying their American boyfriends.
In amongst all this, I found the inspiration for my American Army surgeon Philippe Duval – there was an American neuro surgeon posted to American Army forces in Queensland.
He had an interest in photography and joined a local camera club. I know nothing of his life after the war or whether he had a local sweetheart, but those small details were enough to help me flesh out the character of Dr Philippe Duval. I made him a native of Long Island, (Sag Harbor).
Why Sag Harbor? It suited the story line of his life and my husband and I visited Long Island in 2003. We loved it!
Philippe Duval’s story is a key thread through my three Belleville novels – we meet him in Julia’s Story, again in To Love, Honour and Betray and finally in Return to Prior Park where his story is centre stage. I hope you’ll love this character as I do.
A final act of vengeance. An illicit liaison. A passionate affair. In this third instalment of the Belleville family story, loyalties will be tested and new secrets concealed as the family begin to rebuild their shattered lives. But in the end, it is Prior Park that draws them back as the next generation of the family begins to emerge.
In this third book in the series, the Belleville family begin to rebuild their shattered lives. Wrongly believing they are safe from the madman Alistair McGovern, he escapes from custody to attempt one final act of vengeance. In the aftermath of this final desperate act, each of them must come to terms with the events of the past.
Her marriage in tatters, Julia Belleville begins to question whether she can rebuild…
It’s 1942. The world is at war. Julia Belleville, the headstrong only daughter of the wealthy Belleville family, falls hopelessly in love with American Army surgeon Dr Philippe Duval. When he is suddenly posted away, Julia is devastated, fearing she will never see him again.
Half a world away, Julia’s elder brother Richard is fighting for Britain, flying dangerous missions across the Channel knowing the next mission could be his last. He meets the beautiful Catherine Cavendish whose aristocratic parents disapprove strongly of the brash young Australian officer. Is he destined to find happiness with Catherine or will he be haunted forever by, Jane, the woman he left behind?
Brought up in Richard’s shadow, William Belleville resents the popularity of his older brother and when there is an…