Review of Post Marked Piper’s Reach

It is only a little over a month before “Post Marked Piper’s Reach” is released and  an early review is in.

Courtesy of Andrew Gillman, you can read his review HERE.

Suffice to say, we are more than a little chuffed at his review because it encapsulates so much of the novel’s heart (of darkness).

Links for ordering copies can be found at the Vine Leaves Press page HERE in both paperback and ebook in a region best for you.

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Cover Reveal

The cover arrived to us last week and we are speechless at its beauty and depth and it says everything we wanted it to say about Ella-Louise and Jude.


The release date is slated for July 21, 2019 (it has been a long time waiting) and you can find the link HERE. You can add it to Goodreads now, and the links will go live later.

Heading Down The Road To Publication

A quick update as to where we are at.

We’ve been through another round of edits and sent them off, written up the little bits and pieces that go in to a book, submitted ideas for covers and it’s all becoming a little more real.

During the editing and proofing, Adam posted to the Post Marked: Piper’s Reach Facebook page YouTube links to the songs mentioned in the novel. It’s quite lengthy but a great playlist. Go and relive your youth.

Hopefully very soon we will have a cover to reveal to you all.

Publication Progress

Almost a year has passed since we announced that Post Marked: Piper’s Reach has been accepted for publication and moving ever so closer to the expected launch date in July of 2019.

But first comes the editing.

Writing can seem easy sometimes but then you hand it over to someone else who has fresh eyes and they get to look at all the things you’ve been living with for years and point out all the incongruities, awkward passages, confusing conflicts and weird sections that made sense in your head (but really don’t) and ask you to have another go. It’s almost like your Year 3 teacher writing on your report card, “Must try harder.”

Our editor sent through a lovely email a week or so ago and pleasantly informed us that structurally its all ok so it’s off to the next round of edits. We expect these some time in March and will be a more in-depth read through to fix up all the little bits and pieces not looked at from a macro level. This time it’s all about the micro: how sentences and paragraphs line up, dialogue and speech, spelling and typos. 

We are both looking forward to having a reread in March and polish up the letters between Ella-Louise and Jude even further to bring you a powerful story.

Publication News

We are very very pleased to announce that our novel, Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, has been accepted for publication by Vine Leaves Press.

This is how Jessica Bell, publisher of Vine Leaves, spoke about it, “They have co-written one of the most touching contemporary love stories I’ve ever read.” And it’s more than that; a darkness lies beneath the story of Ella-Louise and Jude.

It has been a long long journey from the first letter handwritten in January 2012 to now, and there’s still some time to wait. The scheduled publication is slated for July, 2019.

We are totally wrapped and chuffed and excited about seeing our novel in print and we can’t wait to share it with you. Stay tuned as the year progresses and we’ll keep you up to date. You never know, you might even get that Christmas special we promised two years ago. And there’s definitely a novella on the way, too.

This is how we pitched our novel:

“Post Marked: Piper’s Reach” is set on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, and follows the correspondences of Ella-Louise Wilson, a former narcotics undercover officer who left Piper’s Reach twenty years earlier to make a life for herself beyond the legacy of her mother’s heroin addiction and her high school best friend Jude Smith, a late-thirties marine biologist still living in his home town of Piper’s Reach with his wife and young family.

Consisting of 57 letters (originally hand-written and physically posted over 15 months), Post Marked: Piper’s Reach initially ran as a web serial from April 2012 to June 2013, gathering a diverse and engaged readership united by the yearning ache of the central theme of ‘the one left behind’. It explores the rekindling of old friendships, adolescent nostalgia, reconciliation of the past with the future, the guilt of wanting what you can’t have, the disparity of who you think someone is and who they actually are, and the consequences of a second chance.

Both Adam and Jodi were avid letter writers in their youth and the project evolved as a way of rekindling an intimate and forgotten mode of communication.

The novel is supported by several short stories, a chapbook of vignettes, and an extensive mix tape soundtrack.

Lastly,

to all the Posties, those dedicated and committed readers who came along for the journey of Ella-Louise and Jude, we THANK YOU ever so sincerely for being out first audience, our first readers, for supporting us as we pursued this course.

This is for you.

Read the First Letter from Ella-Louise for FREE

Friday 6th January, 2012

Dear Jude,

Please excuse the crappy yellow legal pad. Had I waited to find fancy stationery, I might never have sat down to write. Your parents are still listed at Blecker Street, so I’m sending the letter there and hopefully they’ll pass it on to you.

Why don’t I just ring your dad, see if you’re alive and well, and get your phone number or an email address? I can’t. I need to write and do it old school with pen and paper. Think about each word before I put it down (and swear because my hand is already aching from writing more than I have in a decade). To send an email would be like warping the fabric of space and time. But then again, writing a letter to you after so long feels a little like that anyway.

When we sat at The Point watching the sun come up on 1992, I believed in an eternity of New Year’s Eves with you, my best friend, by my side. I had no idea it would be our last.

Just so you know, it hasn’t taken me twenty years to forgive you for not showing up at my farewell party. Or at the bus the next day. You did me a favour. Had you come to say good-bye, I don’t think I would have had the courage to go and leave you behind.

I quit my job at the end of last year. Decided it was time for a sea change, to reassess what’s important in life. Important to me. I’ve bought an old weatherboard cottage just up the coast from Coffs Harbour. It’s not Piper’s Reach (I couldn’t go back there) but I’m near the ocean again. I can lie awake at night and hear the crash of  the waves, smell the salt and seaweed.

Finding the shoebox with your letters and other teenage stuff (I still have the chewie wrapper you gave me the first day we met) it felt like no time had passed. But at the same time, I feel like I’ve lived several lives since then. Guess I have in a way.

Reading your old letters, there were events I remembered and others I’d forgotten — like the first thing I ever said to you was I didn’t kiss boys, so you thought I was a lesbian until I pashed Bart Lehmann at the Year 10 social. Shit! Some things and some people are best left forgotten. But you are not one of those people, Jude. Despite the years of silence, I never forgot you.

You always said The Waterboys wrote ‘The Whole of the Moon’ about us, and while you said it was me seeing the whole of the moon, it was you who was the optimist. No one has ever filled those shoes since I left Pipers.

I’m done with the wandering in the wilderness. I want to reconnect with what I left behind. I hope you have the time and inclination to write back. I could use a friend like you in my life (and no, that’s not code for ‘I’m going through a messy divorce’).

Always your

Ella-Louise

xxx

P.S. I realised I still press hard enough for your patented brand of reverse Braille. Some things never change!

P.P.S: Placebo’s ‘Pure Morning’ is playing. The mention of stormy weather, friends in need, and thoughts compressing all seem rather fitting as I fold this up and go in search of an envelope.

Reaching “The End” for The Second Time

A few weeks ago we sat down in our respective chairs, me in Sydney, Jodi in Brisbane, to read through the last forty pages of edits.

We were reaching “The End” for the second time. It’s probably about the fourth time: the first time we wrote it, when our readers reached “The End,” during our own edits, and lastly, reading through the edits together.

And it was emotional. Very emotional.

We both wrote up how we responded to reaching “The End” and you can read Adam’s post, Tears in the Writer, Tears in the Reader, and Jodi’s post, Goodbye Jude and Ella-Louise.

Meanwhile, the edited version is with our trusted reader, Rus, and Season 3 is sent to our editor, Toni.

While we wait for the feedback and comments we are putting together all the bits and pieces ready for out assault on the publishing world.

Interviewed by Judge Whisky

The only thing I expected from Adam was he’d write a compelling letter once a fortnight, and where possible, provide legible handwriting! ~ Jodi

Judge Whisky hosts us for the final hiatus interview today. An avid reader and supporter from the first letter, plus a self-proclaimed ‘non-commenter’ because of the emotional impact of the letters, Judge gets the dirt on the project’s inception, expectation and faith in partnerships, directional intentions and outcomes, the intersection of fiction and real life in characterisation, evolving a series soundtrack and just how far we dare to dream ahead. And, for those of you burning to know about jellyfish and breast implants…you won’t be disappointed.

Writing this series has exceeded my expectations. I get to write an intriguing character, balanced against the revelations of Jodi’s character, their former friendship, the knowledge they have now, and I get to have a lot of fun doing it. ~ Adam

Miss last week’s interview with Laura Meyer? You can read it here, including an interesting discussion in the comments section about strengthening craft by  living vicariously on the page.

Interviewed By Laura Meyer

Until we kicked into Season Two, I was doing well. I’d had my early teary moments as I excavated Ella-Louise’s past, and then I just got on with it. Ella-Louise kind of gave up trying to seduce Jude via letter and things settled into a holding pattern. ~ Jodi

We had the pleasure to be grilled interviewed by Laura Meyer in the lead up to the conclusion of Season One.

Laura first interviewed us on April 2nd in the lead up to launch day. Today Laura revisits questions of form, story and direction, and throws in a few new one regarding fans, the difficulties of abiding by the No Spoilers Policy (NSP), how we’re coping with the emotional intensity of writing the serial and special questions deconstructing the characters of Jude and Ella-Louise.

Season Two has gone into a territory I didn’t think it would go so the emotional toll is heavier and more intense for me. It has made writing Jude a whole lot harder. ~ Adam

It’s epic, and you can read the complete interview here.

Post Script

And thus we come to end of (what we are calling) Season One with a taster of what is to come in Season Two.

Thank You

We thank you, our small, but dedicated cult following, who have spent the last five months with us as we’ve shared Ella-Louise and Jude’s story, passing it on to family and friends once you were hooked.

What began as a bit of a crazy idea at the end of 2009 and birthed earlier this year on a beach among wet, sandy, squealing children, has taken us on a journey neither of us really anticipated taking. Nine months later we have reached a point in the lives of our characters we never thought possible. We are intertwined intimately in their lives. They talk to us and are with us constantly.

We’ve been blessed to experience first hand, how readers become emotionally invested in characters, and care for them as much as we do. We know from comments that living vicariously through the lives of Jude and Ella-Louise has struck quiet moments of people’s lives, keeping them from reading, or pushing them to confront what’s inside. While it is a thrill to write Jude and Ella-Louise, it is also a responsibility we take seriously

Season 1 ends with Jude’s letter hinting at something BIG. Think of it as a season ending cliff-hanger. But you will have to wait as we take a two week break.

Interviews

During the hiatus, our newest writing partners, Laura Meyer (@L_Meyer) and Joshua Londero (@judgewhisky), grill us about Piper’s Reach. We’ll post up links so you get all the interview/behind the scenes juiciness. Laura’s interview will be aired Tuesday, 4th September and Josh’s on the 11th September.

Facebook

We’ve launched a Facebook Fan Page where all the readers can mingle and comment in the one place. At the moment there are a bunch of new and old photos up, including sneaky looks at the next three letters. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what comes next for Jude and Ella-Louise, or your thoughts on what happened at the reunion.

On The Horizon

Season Two commences with Jude’s “next letter” live Tuesday, 18th September, 9am Australian time.

There’s a storm coming.