Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - Arts -

Em­mett’s mis­tress is an ar­ti­san but he en­coun­ters a cast of char­ac­ters with darker, more am­bigu­ous mo­tives.

When Em­mett dis­cov­ers a book with his own name on it, it will change the course of his life.

Early re­view­ers have praised the orig­i­nal­ity of the con­cept, which is part mys­tery, part love story and part fa­ble, but the idea is grounded in Brid­get’s own ex­pe­ri­ences.

“I started book­bind­ing classes be­cause writ­ers lead a soli­tary life and I de­cided I needed to get out and meet peo­ple,” she says.

“Most peo­ple would get away from books but I en­joy the craft of it, work­ing with my hands, ma­te­ri­als and tools when I work so much in my head.”

The art of book­bind­ing is lit­tle changed over the cen­turies, lead­ing a fer­tile mind such as Brid­get’s to imag­ine the life of a book­bind­ing ap­pren­tice.

The sec­ond seed of the idea came from her vol­un­teer work with the Sa­mar­i­tans, a tele­phone cri­sis ser­vice sim­i­lar to that of­fered by Life­line in Aus­tralia.

“It’s a great priv­i­lege to talk to peo­ple and lis­ten to them tell their sto­ries,” she says.

“After a while, you be­gin to speak to the same peo­ple and they tell the same trau­matic story over again.

“You get this sense they are com­pletely stuck. Some­times you feel like you are re­in­forc­ing the trauma by lis­ten­ing to it again.

“I started to think if I could just reach out and take that mem­ory away, they could start again.”

Brid­get de­scribes The Bind­ing as ul­ti­mately a story about love and kind­ness — in the end a love story of the kind she loves to tell.

She is now edit­ing the manuscript of the sec­ond book in her two-book pub­lish­ing deal. It is not a se­quel but she says she’s no­ticed the same themes run­ning through it, only on a much big­ger can­vas.

As for her act­ing am­bi­tions, Brid­get has rec­on­ciled that it prob­a­bly won’t be her ca­reer now but she still ex­pe­ri­ences the joy of act­ing through am­a­teur pro­duc­tions.

“I think I’ve made my peace with that now,” she says.

No doubt many of her new read­ers will be very happy to hear it. Would you like to win a copy of Brid­get Collins’ The Bind­ing? We have part­nered with Harper­Collins to give away 50 copies of the new novel. For your chance to win, email week­[email protected]­re­gional­me­dia.com.au with Book Club — The Bind­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the sub­ject line. In the body of the email, add your name, mail­ing ad­dress (in­clud­ing sub­urb and post­code) and con­sent to share your de­tails with Harper­Collins so they can mail out the book to you if you are a win­ner. By en­ter­ing this com­pe­ti­tion, con­tes­tants are aware that if se­lected as a win­ner, their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion will be pro­vided to Harper­Collins for the pur­poses of send­ing them their prize only. Terms and con­di­tions are avail­able at this news­pa­per’s web­site.

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