Vanishing Falls, the latest title from Tasmanian born author Poppy Gee, is set in our own backyard with the island state providing the perfect backdrop for a thriller mystery.
Gee said her new novel is a "mystery within a mystery". It's set on a dark and stormy night when a beautiful woman disappears from her colonial mansion and suspicion falls on her wealthy art collector husband.
"But as the townsfolk begin searching for her, their own dark secrets get exposed," Gee said.
"Everyone has a secret, the secrets are connected, so when one is revealed the next secret begins to unravel."
Gee said she worked hard to ensure there was twist after twist in the book to keep readers guessing. She thinks this is a novel that will appeal to readers who read across genres.
The novel draws on Tasmanian history and culture to set the scene and takes place in a fictional rain forest village near Mole Creek. The house in the novel is inspired by Old Wesleydale and the mansion is inspired by Mona Vale.
Mona Vale is a real life Tasmanian calendar house, known as such because it has a window for every day of the year, 52 rooms for the weeks in a year, 12 chimneys for the months in a year, seven entrances for the days in a week, and four staircases representing the four seasons.
Vanishing Falls is named after its real-world counterpart located in south-west Tasmania. Gee said she finds Tasmania interesting for its dark history, ancient forests, and pristine waterfalls.
"When you sort of put all of these together it is the perfect setting for a mystery," she said.
"I think there is also the contrast with Tasmania's history, it's a dark history. Tasmania has this complicated, uneasy, dark history and that is to do with the Indigenous history and the way we are changing to understand that."
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Gee said Vanishing Falls was a literary thriller and not a quick-flick page turner. She said she focused on developing the characters and took the time to make sure readers would feel immersed in the story.
She said it was amazing how Tasmania had gripped the imagination of writers, with the state now claiming many famous authors and the establishment of the Tasmanian gothic genre.
The writer herself looks up to authors such as Jane Harper and Zoë Heller. Her "comfort read" is the work of author Rohan Wilson.
Gee said she loved writing and has done it every day of her life since she was about eight.
She finds sitting alone at her laptop in her room therapeutic and peaceful.
"There's nothing else I get that pleasure from," she said.
She urged budding authors to be specific about the genre they want to write, have a day job to get them through, and to continue to persevere - even when they continue to get setbacks or rejections.
"The one thing successful writers have is perseverance," she said. "It's a very long road, but if you love it, it's not a choice, it's something you have to do."
Gee's other novel, Bay of Fires, was also set in Tasmania and is another literary thriller. However, unlike Vanishing Falls, the story unfolds at a national park on the East Coast.
Though Vanishing Falls was published last month in North America, it will be released in Australia and New Zealand on November 3. For locals, you can pick up a copy of the novel at Petrarch's Bookshop at 89 Brisbane Street once it is out.