in

Kathryn Heyman: “I’ve experienced fear, possibly even fear for my life”

Storm is a charming freediver, the best in the world. Grace is a marine biology student who is to interview him for a dive magazine. The attraction is instant, it’s a rash move to leave her university degree behind, her life behind, to follow Storm to a small Pacific island but that’s exactly what Grace does.

The danger creeps in slowly at first but when Storm “the deepest man”, hears that Lucy Harrison has been named the “deepest woman” he is sure this is a title that Grace should earn. At this point in the story, the danger increases in pace.

Although Kathryn Heyman has not had a violent partner the narrative is disturbingly authentic “I’ve experienced fear, possibly even fear for my life – and so I tried to inhabit those feelings, to interrogate them, and to push them further”. The result is a chillingly accurate description of the slow creep of control a violent and possessive partner gains over his or her victim.

[x_pullquote type=”left”]“I’ve experienced fear, possibly even fear for my life – and so I tried to inhabit those feelings, to interrogate them, and to push them further”.[/x_pullquote]The writing is descriptive particularly in the diving scenes, it will plunge you into the cold dark whether you like it there or not. It’s no surprise this is a strength in the book, Kathryn herself learned to dive recently and says diving “led me to the story”. Kathryn’s understanding of the compulsion to dive assists greatly in explaining Storm’s relationship with the sport “My freediving obsession came suddenly, like love at first sight – and it made the book oddly easy to write; each morning, I was desperate to get back to it, to get down there. It was the closest I could get to being in the deep sea”. 

Storm and Grace is a dangerous romance that is thrilling to read. The difficult subject matter is made easier to digest by Kathryn’s writing which is, in one word, beautiful. These are the stories that need to be told. We need to be able to talk about violence so that victims of abuse don’t feel the debilitating shame that prevents them from coming forward, something that Kathryn hopes is changing “My father was violent and for many years I didn’t talk about it – In later years I was able to be clear: his violence was not my shame, it was his.”.

[x_pullquote type=”right”]My father was violent and for many years I didn’t talk about it – In later years I was able to be clear: his violence was not my shame, it was his.[/x_pullquote]Violence appears to be topical at The Newcastle Writers Festival this year. Kathryn is also launching Michael Sala’s new novel, The Restorer, at the festival. The Restorer is Michael’s second novel and is one of a handful of books at the festival which explores violence. Michael is a local writer who is also and academic at the University of Newcastle. 

You can catch Kathryn and Michael at the festival at the list of events below.


Kathryn Hayman’s Events:

LOVE AND OTHER CATASTROPHES: EXPLORING RELATIONSHIPS

With Belinda Alexandra, Kathryn Heyman and Fiona Higgins.

Host / Meredith Jaffé

08 Apr 2017

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Cummings Room, City Hall

Tickets $22

LINK FOR TICKETS: http://www.newcastlewritersfestival.org.au/session/love-and-other-catastrophes-exploring-relationships/

BOOK LAUNCH – THE RESTORER

08 Apr 2017

4:00 pm -5:00 pm

Watt Space Gallery, Cnr Auckland & King Streets

Michael Salas Events:

EVERY SENTENCE COUNTS

The art of the short story.

With Ryan O’Neill, Isabelle Li and Maria Takolander.

Host / Michael Sala

Free session

ON LOCATION

Newcastle as a setting.

With Wendy James, Andy Muir and Michael Sala.

Host / Keri Glastonbury

Free session

IN HARM’S WAY

08 Apr 2017

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Concert Hall, City Hall

BOOK LAUNCH – THE RESTORER

08 Apr 2017

4:00 pm -5:00 pm

Watt Space Gallery, Cnr Auckland & King Streets

Written by Kelly Barlow

Kelly is a long time foodie, she has cooked, written, published and produced all in the name of food. You can find and contact her at @regionalfoodi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.