Sixth generation Sunbury resident and ABC journalist turned author, Erina Reddan, chats to Zoe Moffatt about living in Sunbury and her new book.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a Walkley Award-winning ex ABC foreign correspondent who now writes crime novels.
What’s your connection to Sunbury?
My family on both sides have lived here for six generations. I grew up on a farm between Diggers Rest and Bulla and after living in Sydney for over twelve years and travelling the world as a foreign correspondent, when we had our two kids we decided to bring them up here.
What do you like about where you live?
I love its old wineries and bluestone buildings, its bike paths and cafes. How many small towns get a book shop and a cinema? We’re so lucky.
What, if anything, would you change about where you live?
I do not like the cranky magpie that is a terrible swooper, just outside our gate in spring. I’d also love to have a kind of culture club in Sunbury where artists, musicians, writers and people who are interested in story telling can get together.
Where is your favourite local place to spend time?
The bush along Deep Creek up past the Wetlands. Pure Magic.
Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you?
I was the only Australian journalist invited to the nuclear test site just minutes after a nuclear bomb was detonated in Muroroa, French Polynesia.
Your book, Deep in the Forest, is now available in bookshops. Tell us about it and your writing journey?
Deep in the Forest is all about secrets, lies and cults.
Charli is an ostracised young woman, desperate to get out of Stone Lake, an imagined town in the Victorian highlands, but before she can leave, she gets this cryptic message from somebody who lives behind the locked gates of The Sanctuary, a local closed religious community nestled in the forest. The town’s people love The Sanctuary because its organic produce and artisanal furniture bring a lot of tourists into the town when so many rural towns are dying.
But the message leads to Charli making a grisly discovery. Being an outsider, Charli’s an easy target to frame so she has to do her own investigation into what has really happened, uncovering dark and terrible secrets. She ends up not only happening to prove her innocence but running from a fate worse than death.
Deep in the Forest was inspired by a local religious community in the Macedon Ranges. It’s a book with a lot of twists and turns with a shocking conclusion that nobody sees coming.