Thursday, April 11, 2013

Introducing Author Lannah Sawers-Diggins

This is a guest blog post by author Lannah Sawers-Diggins, author of Bullseye and publisher of The Sawers From Pitcairn.

Lannah is a 57 year young Australian author with two published titles to her name and four more ‘works in progress’.  She originates from a sheep station in the outback of Australia and is absolutely passionate about this area of Australia – and writing.  Married with two adult daughters Lannah does work part time but all her ‘spare’ time is devoted to her writing – both books and several online publications to which she contributes. 

The first of the two titles she has currently on the market: The Sawers From Pitcairn is a memoir of the first of her family’s ancestors; it follows their movements from the family seat in Scotland, out to Australia, their employment on various sheep and cattle stations between states, and concluding with a reasonably detailed and in-depth look at station life in the years that Lannah grew up there.  The second book, Bullseye is a compilation of some 36 case histories written and submitted by victims of bullying from around Australia and one from the UK.  Lannah planned the book as a therapeutic release of her own ordeal but in the end, legally, she was unable to include her own.  The stories have been reproduced as closely as possible to the original versions written and submitted by their authors, which does mean that some present somewhat more of a challenge to read, than others.  For legal reasons, none of the stories could be ‘touched’ at all – therefore all original spelling, grammar, punctuation (or lack therein) remains untouched.
Of the four ‘works in progress’, two are more ‘prominent’ at the moment.  The first of these is (working title) her book on stations, or the stations book.  Following publication of her first two books, Lannah found herself in the wonderful position of finally being able to combine two of her passions – the outback and writing.  Research into the book on sheep and cattle stations involves physically visiting each and every one of the 25-30 participating stations scattered across the nation, observing/interviewing/photographing the owners/managers and their families, staff and some local townspeople.  Aspects in the book will include the opinions of retired pastoralists (those who have moved out of the outback into the bright lights of the city – Lannah is in the process of interviewing some 30 couples of retirees), also of those wives who have gone from the cities, larger country towns, farms or even other nations, out to that isolation.  Education, health, transport, travel, entertainment, employment, the Indigenous aspect, shopping – anything that has been requested is being included.  More recently she has been asked to explore the impact of the internet and social networking on these people.  The aim of this book is to try to educate the rest of the world and Australia about life out there, that there are people living out there, struggling against all odds to live, to survive.   Title and cover design for this book is to be made into a competition for the children and families of the School of the Air.

The second ‘work in progress’ is Lannah’s first foray into fiction and is based on her own 6 year bullying nightmare – the one that could not be included in Bullseye.  Writing this is bringing the memories rushing back, many of which are as clear as daylight, as if they happened yesterday – and are not pleasant.  However some have been locked away so securely that they are refusing to budge and Lannah improvises, based on other memories.
One of the other books is Lannah’s own auto-biography, which is not top priority at the moment, although it is being ‘asked about’.

Finally (for the moment) is a book about an Australian maritime disaster which would and should have gained worldwide interest and exposure had it not occurred about a month prior to the ‘Titanic’.  The Australian ship, the ‘Koombana’ was sunk off in Australian waters, hit by a cyclone – all crew and passengers perished.  Shortly before Easter 2012, Lannah was approached by a lovely couple who lost relations in this disaster and are understandably very upset and angry at the lack of interest – even knowledge – shown by most Australians about this incident.  Very few people know at all.  So, for some reason that neither this couple, nor Lannah, will ever be able to explain, they approached her to ‘help’.  Lannah is now working on this project.
You can visit Lannah Sawers-Diggins on her website, Twitter, or her blog to know more about the author and her books.

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