Friday, September 30, 2011


I've been binge reading these last two weeks. I hadn't read a great deal of fiction in the last little while (although who can say in this age of annoying over-editorialised, subjective and agenda-ised reporting what is fiction and what is not), so I began with Di Morrissey's The Plantation (2010). Then I moved on to Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize winners The Magnificent Ambersons (1919) and Alice Adams (1922). I followed these up with Tim Winton's Breath (2008). Rather indulgently interspersed these with Leaves of Grass (1892, ninth edition) by Walt Whitman.
     I'm beginning to wonder if there is not more fact in fiction (particularly really good fiction such as these) than in a good deal of that reporting I mentioned before. I suppose it's inescapable really that subjective factualisation is a reality of non-fiction. The picking and choosing and weaving of facts are subject to the will of the creator. 
     At the heart of all these works I've been reading are characters responding authentically, with great emotional cost, to the choices they make and the circumstances around them. In The Plantation, the women and children struggling to survive in a Japanese concentration camp after the fall of Singapore is so moving and beautifully written that I may forget the rest of the book over time, but not this section.
     I suppose fiction couldn't exist without fact, although the speculation authors wouldn't think so I suspect. But something of the authentic human experience has to be there for people to read and relate to, doesn't it?
     I love The Magnificent Ambersons. My life couldn't be more different to the Ambersons, and yet I totally comprehended every character in the novel and I was thoroughly engrossed by the effect of the industrial revolution on humanity, which is still going on today in other ways. I was both transported in time and affirmed about my own time. Same with poor Alice. Although for me not one character in Alice Adams was particularly likeable and in that respect it was hard to keeping reading, on the other hand it was impossible not to keep reading because of the deep and dark human yearning going on. I was even proud of Alice at the end!
     The leap from Tarkington's 1922 Indiana to Tim Winton's Breath left me wondering if I'd landed on an entirely other planet. The one character I found myself liking in this Miles Franklin Award-winning novel about surfing was the sea, the waves. I felt sorry for, was ambivalent about or despised all the other characters. Maybe that's Winton's point: you won't like these people but, by heck, you won't want to stop reading about them and what this kind of life has done to them. Although by the end I had begun not to care very much. The story is a tragedy. Pikelet is both responsible and not responsible for what happened to him and for how his life turned out. It's difficult to decide, because everybody is different and responds differently, but like every human life lived it's the impact of more than one thing that determines how our lives turn out, not the least of which is the dark side of our own personality.
     So while the leap from Tarkington to Winton made me think 'we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto', in fact this is still Planet Humanity and yearning is a dominant characteristic of the landscape.
     Thankfully, we have Walt Whitman to give yearning a joyous quality. The soothing indulgence of poetry! I continue Leaves of Grass, to read and enjoy every word.

Friday, September 2, 2011


The best day ever has finally arrived. We have a new book and a new website. I'm really pleased to announce the official release of EMPIRE FOR LIBERTY, the second volume in The Liberty & Property Legends and the sequel to HEARTLAND On the Side of Angels.

To coincide with the release of Empire, we have launched a brand new home for The Liberty & Property Legends.

Both book and website have been huge projects that I am both relieved and thrilled to have finally accomplished. I hope readers and visitors alike enjoy them.

WARNING! - Empire for Liberty is going to blow you away. (Can I say that about my own book? - why not?!) 

Here's some pre-release testimonials to get your juices going:

“I can honestly say that Empire is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the introduction of new characters, especially Emmaline (In my mind I wanted to be her!). The story line had me totally gripped and your writing skills are amazing Terri, I felt like I was living the story myself.  I did not want the book to end and am now eagerly awaiting the next installment!” Anne Hellingman, Queensland.

"As someone who prefers non-fiction over fiction, I found Empire for Liberty a gobsmackingly good read! The way that Terri Sedmak writes actually had me reminding myself throughout the read that these characters are really fictional and that I am really living in the 21st century such was the extent of my emotional engagement with the story. Terri’s writing sucks you in in such a way that you don’t even realise how deeply you care for the characters until something happens to one of them and then Wamo! Before you know it you’re either punching the air celebrating a triumph with them or wiping a tear from your cheek as you share in their loss. I found the experience and journey quite extraordinary and I can’t wait to go through that emotional rollercoaster again with Terri’s third installment in this six part series!” Gavin D'Souza, Sydney.

"What I love about Empire for Liberty is the fast pace and the action. Then there’s the characters! Cliff is just one big sigh and I love Emmaline’s feistiness. The romance is perfect. I can read this book over and over. It won’t be collecting dust on my bookshelf, that’s for sure.” Barbara Santarosa, Sydney.