Amanda Deed’s latest release ‘Ellenvale Gold’ was a prime read for me these last few months. I loved her strong characters, and the way Amanda weaves history and lives together into a wonderfully colourful storyline. Amanda was good enough to answer some questions about her latest story; her writing; and her life. Both Amanda and I would love for you to leave a comment. And please seek out a copy of ‘Ellenvale Gold’ when next you are looking for a captivating story that is well worth the purchase.
It is the time of Australia’s harsh rogue-filled goldrush of the 1850’s when Miss Penelope Worthington suddenly finds herself orphaned, isolated and alone. With a large sheep station to run single-handedly, she has little option but to enlist the aid of a mysterious, but sinister stranger.
But who is the more treacherous? Gus—the scruffy, trespassing, ex-convict who co-incidentally shows up looking for work just when she desperately needs a farmhand or Rupert—the handsome, wealthy neighbour who would willingly marry her at the drop of a hat and solve her apparent dilemma?
Repeatedly, her faith is tested as she faces the unforgiving elements, deceit, lies and uncertainty. But where and how will it all end? But…is it the end? Will vengeance return or
will Penny’s faith prevail?
The main female character in ‘Ellenvale Gold’ is a very strong willed woman. How hard is it to portray strength and independence in female characters of period storylines, and still appeal to today’s modern woman?
It can be a challenging one, because there weren’t many females in the workforce back then. It was very much wife and mother lifestyle. That is why I chose a pioneering kind of situation – it forges the character to independence and strength. I have read about several women pioneers and man did they work hard. I think those kind of characters appeal to the modern woman who desires to be recognised as more than a baby-making, house-cleaning machine. 🙂
A lot of us look back on the gold rush era of Australian history and think of it as a romantic time, when in fact, it was very hard. What was one aspect of this era that struck you when researching for ‘Ellenvale Gold’.
Reading about Ballarat was amazing. Many women went there with the expectation of finding domestic service work, only to discover there were mostly men there and living in tents to make it worse. Sadly, many of those women resorted to prostitution to survive. They were nick-named the fallen angels.
Other challenges the miners faced were harsh treatment from the Police in regards to the licences, bad water, expensive food, and the elusive chase after gold.
What was one of the main themes you wanted to clearly portray in ‘Ellenvale Gold’?
That we should walk in humility rather than pride. As it says in Philippians 2:5-8, we should have the mindset of Christ who, in spite of being equal with God, made himself nothing, even a servant, and then submitted himself to death on the cross. We need to learn to not look down on others, no matter what their past or current circumstance makes them appear to be.
There seems to be the opening for a sequel to the novel – it that something we can look forward to?
Yes. The sequel is tentatively called “Black Forest Gold” and is all about Penny’s brother, Tony Worthington, and his encounter with kidnappers, bushrangers, Indigenous Australians and a fiery, Spanish girl called Estella. All going well, it should be available later this year.
Where can we find a copy of ‘Ellenvale Gold’?
“Ellenvale Gold” is available through all Christian bookstores and also on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. For more information, go to www.amandadeed.com.au or see my blog at http://amanderings.wordpress.com.
Thank you, Amanda.