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We're launching the Book Tour for WHERE THE ROAD BENDS by David Rawlings! #WRBPrism #TNZFiction

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Author Interview

What inspired you to write WHERE THE ROAD BENDS?

One thing definitely inspired the location of the story: I wanted to write a novel that was based in my country. My first two novels – The Baggage Handler (that’s the one that won the Christy Award in 2019) and The Camera Never Lies – were set in an Any City and I’ve had feedback from readers around the world thanking me for writing a story that felt like it happened in their home town.

But this next one isn’t set there. Where the Road Bends is firmly placed in my home.  Outback Australia.

I’m an Aussie writer and I wanted to transport readers to my home – places I’ve visited; places I’m proud of. While the protagonists are American characters getting together fifteen years after graduation, the landscape is a character in itself.  It’s rough and rugged but it’s beautiful and delicate. There is a big expanse of nothing, but it’s so full of life. 

If you could sum the book up in one sentence, what would you say?

Where the Road Bends is a story to reflect on and enjoy – reflect on the theme of where you are on the road of life, and enjoy the delicate beauty and rugged danger of outback Australia.

What challenged you about writing this story?

My biggest challenge was to do justice to the landscape of Australia. I wrote passages to help paint a picture of what it’s like, but most of the time I felt like I was battling the feeling of being an art student gripping a brush for the first time while taking on a Picasso painting. So I spent time over those passages, like this: 

A cramp seized Andy’s shoulders as he pulled them in tight, hemmed in by a domestic flight cursed with the lack of the luxurious space of international business class. He had withdrawn into the view. 

For two hours the ground had changed thirty thousand feet below as the crisscross suburban gray of the city gave way to deep green, which gave way to dusty brown, which gave way to an ochre orange. Now the earth was rich red. It was as if the lifeblood of the country was being cleansed as it flowed back to its heart. 

This is what it’s like to fly into central Australia. We all pretty much live on the coast, so when you fly out of our capital cities and toward the outback, for thirty minutes there are signs of life and then there’s … nothing. But the thing you notice most is the change of color, and you know you’re over the outback when everything below you is red.

Or this particular passage:

The clouds slowly unveiled flecks of silver paint from an artist’s wide brush swept across the heavens. A chill moved in as the darkness chased the daylight from the landscape that surrendered by hues—orange to pink, pink to gray, and gray sliding to black. The dried gum tree crackled as the dancing campfire flames consumed it. Shadows shimmered between the swags and the spinifex, and Lincoln was washed in a warm orange glow. 

A silence draped over the crater as Eddie released another shower of sparks into the night air. “You will discover your- self being out here for a while.” He swept an arm upward. “Sleeping under the stars. Disconnected from being bothered every five minutes by messages that don’t really matter from people you aren’t really with. Away from the barrage of overselling of stuff you don’t need. Taking a moment to appreciate our world and your place it.” 

When you’re in the outback, you’re in the middle of nowhere. You are, at times, hundreds of miles from the next person. And at night, the stars unroll until the heavens are filled. I’ve never seen anything like it. You feel so insignificant, yet so in wonder of the power of creation. 

Which character do you most relate to and why?

All four of my American characters are in their late 30s and wondering why they have arrived at this point in each of their lives. Lincoln has not quite recovered from having his heart broken in College. Eliza is highly successful but something leaves her feeling empty. Bree’s dream never materialized and now she’s living a life she never thought she’d live. And Andy just wants to run away and start again.

I think I relate a little to each of them. Based on the conversations I have with those people around me, I think we can all relate a little to each of them.

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

I write all of my novels so that once the back cover is closed and the final page is turned, that is the start of something: a conversation, a thought process, a prayer. It’s my hope that a reader will finish Where the Road Bends and think about where they are on the road of life, and where they’re going from here.

I would also love them to fall in love with outback Australia like we all have down here. It truly is a wonder of creation. 

What is something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write... or favorite snack foods or hobby?

Well, I’m an Australian male writing in Christian fiction in the USA, and the first Aussie-based author to win a Christy Award. That’s pretty good in terms of point of difference right there.

As a writer, I’ve now written and published three novels in just under 18 months. I have developed a process of think-dictate-write-edit that enables me to keep the stories flowing. What this process involves is thinking, talking and writing on a loop to help keep pushing my story forward, and getting around the idea of waiting for the inspiration to arrive.

Oh, and as an Aussie my favorite foods are seafood, lamb and meat pies. In that order. 

Where the Road Bends
By David Rawlings
Christian Fiction
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 304 Pages
June 2, 2020 by Thomas Nelson

Fifteen years after college graduation, four friends reconnect to keep a long-ago promise and go on a trip of a lifetime in the Australian Outback.

Eliza needs to disconnect from her high-powered fashion job to consider the CEO position she’s just been offered. Lincoln hopes to rekindle a past relationship and escape from another one. Bree looks forward to a fun getaway from home and her deeply buried disappointments. Andy wants to disappear from the mess he’s made of his life—possibly forever.

Dropped at a campsite in the middle of nowhere, the friends quickly discover they aren’t the same people they once were, and they begin to confront hard truths about one another—and themselves. Then a bizarre storm sweeps across their camp, scattering them across the desert. Wondering if they are part of some strange escape game, each of the friends meets a guide to help them find exactly what they need: purpose, healing, courage, and redemption.

But they’ve already traveled far down the road of life and course-correcting to become the people they were meant to be won’t be easy.

(Affiliate links included.)

Tour Schedule

June 8th:
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Bookstagram Tour

Check out the Bookstagram Tour here, which has its own giveaway!

About the Author

David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings (US only)

Ends June 24, 2020

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