Today we have a piece by Verity about her #LoveOzYA novel, May Day Mine! Although we haven’t read this one yet, we’re eager to pick it up soon – maybe even for one of the squares on our Bingo Challenge!
Thank you, Verity!
Even though May Day Mine is published by Harmony Ink Press in the US, it is a #LoveOzYA title as the author, me, is Australian, and the book is set in Australia, based on the Beaconsfield mine disaster. I was inspired by the event to create a fictional account, with a fictional family, as I was trying to imagine what it would have been like to live in that small town at that time. I started writing it ages ago, and spent a lot of time on it during my Master of Arts in Creative Writing course at the University of Tasmania. The other students in the class and the tutor gave me lots of helpful input to try to bring my fictional family to life. I didn’t want it to be a realistic version of exactly what happened, as I felt a responsibility to the real families who were involved and I didn’t want to upset them. So I changed the number of men who died in the rock fall, and changed the number of men trapped, so no one character would represent a real person.
Here’s the blurb from the back cover of the book:
Life in a small mining town can be like living in a fishbowl—with everyone knowing everybody else’s business. Fifteen-year- old Jodi’s mother wants her father to quit his binge-drinking and his dangerous job at the mine—even more so after a collapse leaves two miners dead and three trapped deep underground.
As tensions escalate both at home and around the town, Jodi seeks comfort with her friends, but soon faces a double betrayal. Meanwhile, her ten-year- old brother Jake reacts by joining a gang of schoolyard bullies who engage in increasingly dangerous antics. As Jodi struggles to gain autonomy over her life, she begins to discover the person she really is. But with everything around her spiralling out of control, it may not be the right time to let her family, friends, and ultimately the whole town know—no matter how much she wants to.
If you want to get an idea of whether you’d enjoy reading May Day Mine, there is a detailed review on Inside a Dog. Thanks to #LoveOzYA for all their support!