The story of a family being uprooted from a comfortable Sydney lifestyle and transplanted to a farm 20 kilometres from Walcha is the basis of a book to feature at the Port Macquarie Library in February.
Author Angela Wales will be at the library on February 13, from 10.30am until noon.
Barefoot In The Bindis is dedicated to her mother who passed away just weeks before Christmas 2019.
She said the childhood experiences helped shaped her into a self-reliant and resourceful adult.
"We went from such a comfortable lifestyle in Sydney and got plonked 20 kilometres from Walcha, with no electricity, no phone and an outside toilet," she said.
"My mother learnt really quickly how to grow her own vegetables, make all our clothes and how to bottle her own fruit.
"She did an amazing job.
"Those 10 years in Walcha are indelibly etched in my mind but it wasn't until I started working in America and told people about that experience that the idea of a book started to form.
"So this book was in the back of my mind for about 20 years and was eventually written when I retired and returned to Australia to care for mum in her later years."
Angela says the family experienced quite a lot of disasters during their decade in the bush.
Despite the harshness of the environment, the author says she would "get boxes of books from the Walcha library to read".
"I'd say that's where my desire to work with writers was formed. I became interested in theatre and playwrights," she added.
So this book was in the back of my mind for about 20 years and was eventually written when I retired and returned to Australia to care for mum in her later years.Angela Wales
Angela would go on to spend 10 years with the Australian Writers' Guild before moving to the Writers Guild of America where she worked with writers of film and television for 20 years in Los Angeles.
On her return to Australia, Angela suffered a setback when she was diagnosed with breast cancer which "was another impetus to write the book".
She started writing in 2015 with various drafts going back and forth to an agent in America over the next three years.
The book was eventually sold after a few knock backs, which Angela says she accepted as par for the course.
Barefoot In The Bindis was eventually launched in Walcha in March 2019 with the irony that the small community does not have a bookshop.
The reader feedback, particularly from those who had similar experiences growing up, has been gratifying, she said.
"It has been really nice connecting with people with similar childhoods (during the promotion of the book) and connecting with people from around Australia that I may well not have met.
"I am really looking forward to meeting everyone in Port Macquarie too.
"The overall experience has been a lot of fun," she said.
Angela Wales will be part of Stories behind the storytellers, at Port Macquarie Library on Thursday February 13, from 10.30am until noon.
To RSVP to go the library website.
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