Thornlands author Michelle Upton calls her latest novel a “love letter to the Redlands”.
Entitled Emergency Exit Only, the novel is set locally with ready references to Raby Bay, Victoria Point, Cleveland and Peel Island.
“Anyone who knows the area will recognise this,” she said.
Emergency Exit Only follows the success last year of her first novel Terms of Inheritance, written for the Banjo Prize with Harper Collins and ultimately published.
“I have to pinch myself that I am doing this – doing my dream job,” she said.
Ms Upton said her literary journey started 15 years ago with the death of her father.
“It was a real shock. He came from England to meet his grandson and passed away here eight weeks later,” she said.
“My brother flew over from the UK and it was a blessing to be able to come together to say goodbye.
“But when something like this happens, it makes you ask those questions. Why are we here and what is our purpose?
“I was working as a teacher at the time and I thought if I could do any job, what would I really want to do with this one life.
“My answer was to write. I spent eight years learning the craft of writing.”
Ms Upton said in some respects, her latest novel reflects these emotions.
“It is the story of a woman who has an accident and seeks a job that ignites her passion,” she said.
“She tests out being a wedding planner, a zookeeper, a florist. There’s drama and romance, and the reader is in for a good time.
“This is a story about stepping out of your comfort zone.”
Ms Upton writes short stories and novels that examine our darkest fears and shine a light on hope and possibility.
The author will speak about her new novel at Cleveland Library at 10.30am on December 2.
The event is free but bookings are essential on redland.qld.gov.au.