Ask An Author: Jesse Blackadder (November 6-10)

It has been a while since we had an Ask An Author segment and that’s because we thought we might leave them a little longer between having the author in and when we featured the book, to give members a little longer to read.

Jesse Blackadder has taken the haunting memory of family tragedy and woven it into a captivating and heartbreaking fictional novel. A story that shattered me but was well worth the read.

Sixty Seconds is the first novel I have read by Jesse Blackadder but it won’t be the last. You can read my review and our reader feedback here: Book Club: Sixty Seconds

About Jesse Blackadder, in her own words

I’ve spent my life pursuing a fascination with stories.

My first foray into creative writing, at age 11, involved a swift marriage to Bay City Roller Eric Faulkner, in a joint wedding where my best friends married other band members. Literature it was not, but that’s where I first discovered the joy of creating stories. When my best friends – and other friends – starting demanding chapters as fast as I could write them, I was introduced to the pleasure of creating stories for an audience.

Since then, I’ve explored and made sense of my world through writing. My first novel, After the Party, was inspired by my love affair with Byron Bay when I first moved there in 1999. The Raven’s Heart came about through finding the ruins of the old Blackadder castle in Scotland – and an even older story about a brave woman who tried to defend it. Chasing the Light fictionalised the fascinating real life story of the first women to reach Antarctica – and gave me the opportunity to travel to that amazing continent as a writer in residence.

My novels for kids (8-12 years) are about relationships between humans and animals, enlivened by humour (such as the kidnapped Antarctic guide dog ‘Stay’, based on a real creature).

Writing Sixty Seconds was a long journey, with its beginning stretching way back to when I was 12 years old and my own toddler sister drowned in our backyard pool. It has been one of those stories I had to tell.

And incidentally, I never married Eric Faulkner.

       Photo: Donatella Parisini

 Sixty Seconds Synopsis

Inspired by the author’s own family experience. The Brennans – parents Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby – have made a sea change, shifting from chilly Hobart to a sprawling purple weatherboard in subtropical Murwillumbah. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they are only just starting to settle when, one morning, tragedy strikes – changing their lives forever.

Determined to protect his wife, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends her nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah – his innocence lost – is propelled suddenly from his teens into frightening adulthood. As all three are pushed to the limit, questions fly: Who is to blame? And what does it take to forgive?

A haunting and ultimately redemptive story about what it takes to forgive.


For the next week we have Jesse Blackadder on call to answer your questions, so if there’s anything you want to know about her career or any of her books please write your question in the comments section below and she will get back to you. Please do remember our authors are busy people too so you won’t necessarily get an immediate answer but all questions asked before Friday the 6th November will be answered.

For more great authors check back in the coming weeks, we will have authors in to coincide with book club reads. If you haven’t heard about our book club you should check out the Beauty and Lace Club.

Sixty Seconds is published by HarperCollins and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

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