Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From Australia With Love Blog Hop: A Fictional Tour of Brisbane with Cameron Trost



Australian writers rock. We know it, and we love them. But it’s not always easy to discover the Australian talent that is right under our noses.

From Australia With Love Blog Hop introduces you to 18 Aussie authors across a variety of categories and genres. Each author is hosting three of their fellow blog hop participants between now and Valentine’s Day to let you find out more about them. So follow them on twitter, like their Facebook page and visit their blogs during the blog hop period to discover more great Australian writers.

And to show how much these Aussie authors love their readers, they’ve donated some great prizes for you to win!

Today I have Cameron Trost stopping by.

A Fictional Tour of Brisbane

I was born and grew up in Brisbane and even though I travel quite a lot, my home town is often present in my fiction. There are references to bands, such as The Cairos, and historical figures like the dreaded Captain Logan, but this article is all about places in Brisbane. Today, I’m going to take you on a tour of my city not on foot or by bus but through my fiction.

Whenever I set a story in Brisbane, the location plays a major role, almost as though it were a character itself. Many of the twenty-three short stories in my collection, Hoffman’s Creeper and Other Disturbing Tales, are set in Brisbane. I’m going to introduce three of them, all of which use the setting to carry the story. What I mean by this is that if they had been set anywhere else, they would have been very different stories.

The setting of Kangaroo Point is obvious enough for anybody who has ever been to Brisbane. The view from the top of the cliffs across the river to the skyscrapers of the central business district is wonderful. It’s a popular spot for photographers and painters as well as rock-climbers looking to practise their sport at a convenient location. However, the man standing at the edge of the Kangaroo Point cliffs in this story is there for a much less prosaic reason.

Patrick O’Malley is a tale of historical adventure under a cruel regime, that of the British Empire in the 1820s. As a University of Queensland graduate with a major in history, I’ve always been intrigued by my city’s relatively short but dramatic past. Patrick O’Malley is an Irish convict determined to escape the penal colony that was based on the northern banks of the Brisbane River. Little remains of this era, but the haunted treadmill on Wickham Terrace and the commissariat store down by the river on William Street are still intact today. Across the water, convicts often cleared woodland in the area that now forms the picnic spot of Southbank. This is where Patrick O’Malley tries his luck.

The hilly suburb of Paddington and, in the city centre, the town hall with its clock tower are the settings for Party Trick. The story starts at a party in a trendy Paddington house and ends in King George Square You won’t believe what happens one seemingly normal day when the clock strikes twelve.


Will there be more stories emerging from my imagination and walking the streets of Brisbane? Yes, of that you can be sure.

Bio: 

Cameron Trost concocts strange and mysterious tales that explore the absurdities and peculiarities of society and the human mind. His short fiction has been published in magazines and anthologies such as Midnight Echo, Eclecticism, Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror, and Zero Plus Seven. Many of these stories can be found in Hoffman's Creeper and Other Disturbing TalesCameron is from Brisbane and is the vice-president and QLD community leader of the Australian Horror Writers' Association and a member of the Queensland Writers' Centre. 
 
Blurb for Hoffman's Creeper and Other Disturbing Tales:

A businessman staying in a Scottish manor makes the mistake of deciding to spend the evening in the library. A group of unpopular teenage girls uses witchcraft to pursue their aims. A rich banking tycoon has forgotten his university days when he and his friends dared to imagine a world ruled by social justice and working class ideals. The estranged family of a deceased aristocrat bicker over their inheritance. A botanist’s love for his plants is unnaturally deep-rooted. 

“Hoffman’s Creeper and Other Disturbing Tales” is the first short story collection from Cameron Trost. It plunges the reader into a world of mystery, suspense, obsession and greed. From the Scottish highlands and the jagged peaks of the Pyrénées to the streets of Brisbane and the Australian countryside, Cameron Trost provokes the reader by ensnaring recognisable characters in disturbingly plausible situations. His writing seeks to entertain while exploring the absurdities and peculiarities of society and the human mind.

 
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