Evie emerges from a stupor with a man she’s not sure if she can trust in a country she has never been. He tells her they are running from a terrible crime she committed, but she’s not sure if she can trust him or her own memories.
I was inspired by Maketu, the setting of the novel. Maketu is a beautiful yet rugged and brutal beach town in New Zealand. Friends and I would spend a lot of time there and we had a number of run-ins with the locals who were often adverse to outsiders. After stones were hurled at our car and we were driving out of town I just remember thinking this would be the perfect place to hide out.
I am a bit of a method writer, so I did things like shave my head and tried to really get inside the head of my protagonist. I also visited Maketu a number of times, taking my wife there (who had never been) and viewing the place as an outsider would.
Jim is a very masculine bloke. He came about because I wanted to write about masculinity and the forms and shapes men are expected to be. Jim’s motivation is ultimately driven by control. Evie was with me before I began writing CME. When I first moved to Melbourne, I noticed how insular and neurotic yet outwardly cool Melbourne natives are. She was born of that and was the only character that survived a previous manuscript I lost when my laptop blew up. I couldn’t get her out of my head so I had to write her into CME.
I’m currently working on a novel that is essentially a fictionalised account of a notorious Australian cult. It’s much more of a conventional thriller set up than Evie with some huge twists no one will see coming.
Meet Evie, a young woman who has fled with her uncle to the isolated New Zealand beach town of Maketu. Jim says he’s hiding her to protect her, that she did something terrible back home in Melbourne. Something Evie can’t remember.
But Evie isn’t her real name. And Jim isn’t really her uncle.
In a house that creaks against the wind, Evie pieces together the events that led her here. And as her memories return, she starts to wonder if Jim is really her saviour . . . or her captor.