inspiration

MY FAMILY AND OTHER EMIGRANTS by Emma Carroll

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Someone once asked me why in both my published books characters travel overseas. The answer? FAMILY. It wasn’t something I especially set out to do at the planning stage of either book. Yet sometimes I think real life and real circumstances have a way of almost bleeding out onto the page.advertisement_for_the_allan_line_steamship_company.

In ‘Frost Hollow Hall’, two people very dear to the main character Tilly emigrate to America. It leaves Tilly’s family bereft and needing to rebuild their lives. In ‘ The Girl Who Walked On Air’ Louie follows her dreams across the Atlantic. Right from the outset though she very clearly can’t wait to get home again.

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In 1995 my brother went to Australia for a year. Just before he was due to come home, he had a surfing accident ( buttock sliced open by surfboard fin- nice!) so couldn’t fly home. He stayed on. And stayed on. In the end he got residency, met a girl, had kids…

So the story is that my only sibling, my brother, lives on the other side of the world. He’s married to an English woman and they have two brilliant, amazing daughters- my nieces. Eliza’s namesake in Frost Hollow Hall emigrates to America, which upsets Tilly greatly.

It’s no coincidence.

There’s nothing I’d love more than my family to live nearby. I don’t like flying. I can’t afford long haul flights. And I really miss having that connection with people who’ve known you since birth.

This isn’t a pity party. I’ve got best friends and in-laws who are as close to me as closest family, and live just a short car journey away. I’m very lucky: I’ve got great parents and a wonderful husband. But this christmas, for the first time in 20 years, my brother came home with his daughters. And I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of magic in that.

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