A LONG-HELD dream to write a book has finally been realised for Tracy Sorensen who will release her debut novel, The Lucky Galah, next month.
Set in the tiny remote coastal town of Carnarvon in Western Australia where the author grew up, the novel draws inspiration from real-life events.
In 1969, the town played a vital link to relay messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas for the moon landing, however, in the book Lucky the galah is witness to the events.
Ms Sorensen has wanted to write a book since she was a teen and it was good to “tick it off the bucket list”.
The Lucky Galah is a story about fate and it is narrated by Lucky who is perched out on the verandah alone, unheard and underestimated.
Ms Sorensen said writing the book from the galah’s perspective allowed readers to see, from an outsider’s perspective, what was going on at the time.
Galahs are playful and have their own take on things.Author Tracey Sorensen
“Things that would interest a galah are not the same as what would interest a person,” she said.
“You’re getting the story, but it’s told through the eyes of a galah. Galahs are playful and have their own take on things.”
Ms Sorensen, who is a writer, filmmaker and academic, said the idea behind the book came from looking back to her younger years to a town that she, and Australia, had almost forgotten.
While it may be “absolutely a work of fiction”, its roots are based in reality.
“I’ve created a parallel universe of my home town and it’s talking about the moon landing,” she said.
“Carnarvon is really underplayed in the moon landing … it’s all a bit forgotten.”
Ms Sorensen said as an author “it was very risky” for her to use a galah to tell the narrative.
The native Australian bird often has a kitch appeal – just think of the well known line by Home and Away’s Alf Stewart of “flamin’ galah”.
Images of them are also often spotted on teatowels that international tourists might take back home with them.
But, for Ms Sorensen the birds have a special meaning.
“The galah is very close to my heart. I love galahs so it wasn’t such a stretch to write about one,” she said.
The Lucky Galah will be released February 27, and it can be pre-ordered through BooksPlus on Howick Street.