Wanderers No More Book Spotlight & Guest Post from Author Michelle Saftich

Today, we are featuring an historical fiction novel from author, Michelle Saftich, in our book spotlight.  Learn about Wanderers No More, get to know the author--and read her thoughts as she shares a guest post with us today!  Be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Book Title: Wanderers No More by Michelle Saftich
Category: Adult Fiction, 290 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Book

The war may be over, but the fight to belong is just the beginning.

Left homeless, starving, and almost killed by the Second World War, the Saforo family are refugees fleeing Italy for a better life. The shores of Australia are calling to them and they head off, packing dreams of jobs, a home and… soccer.

But from the moment they get off the boat, adapting to the Australian way of life is harder than it seems. Their family doesn’t speak right, eat right or even look right. As they struggle to build a simple life against the backdrop of 1950s’ racism, they start to wonder if they will be outsiders forever.

A true family affair, Wanderers No More will make you laugh, remind you of your family, and warm your heart.

To follow the blog tour and read reviews, please visit Michelle Saftich's page on Italy Book Tours.

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Guest Post from Michelle Saftich

An image. A phrase. A feeling.

A writer can start a book, a short story or a poem this way. One thought can lead to a creative path of adventure, history or romance.

For instance, J.K Rowling said she was sitting on a train when a “scrawny, black haired, bespectacled boy who didn’t know he was a wizard” came to mind.  

For me, what triggered my two-novel journey of more than 100,000 words, was the image of my father as a young boy at the age of seven sitting in a classroom, lost and confused.

Being a newly arrived Italian migrant he was unable to understand his English-speaking teacher.

I was actually a child myself when this image first came to mind. I remember wondering how my father could possibly have coped without knowing the language of his teacher.

When I asked him, he said he picked up English in the schoolyard listening to other kids. 

“You had to,” he explained.

My father arrived with his family in Australia in 1950 and they were posted to Cairns; a bleak, tropical town on the country’s far north-east coast.

His teacher and the kids around him would have been speaking a coarse, colloquial style of English, not unlike that of Mick in Crocodile Dundee.

But somehow, he did learn the language. And it was key for him to really “settle”.

My two novels, Port of No Return, and the sequel, Wanderers No More were inspired by my father and his family’s experiences, first in war-torn Europe, then on their settlement in Australia.

Martino comes up against a range of difficulties on arrival in Australia by way of school bullies, cruel nuns and a lack of Australian friends – plus not many kids play soccer, a sport that Martino is passionate about.

I wanted to write about these obstacles and cultural differences but also how he overcame them. How people adapt and go on to succeed against the odds does make for inspiring stories.

I wrote fiction for the freedom of creativity and to add drama and historical events; but all the while I was drawing upon my father’s stories and the tales of other migrants to guide my way, in the hope of making it credible.  

JK Rowling has Harry. I have Martino – no wizard, but he would perform extraordinary well in the circumstances at school and he would pick up a childhood scar that would make him fight harder for his dreams.

I immensely enjoyed writing these novels. I’m proud too, as I think they do well to present the migrant experience and the resilience needed not only to settle but to pursue your dreams. In today’s refugee climate there is much to be learned from the past and much to celebrate in terms of how far we’ve come.

It is an emotional read at times, I cried during the proofreading more than once. But there’s plenty to smile about too.

Meet the Author

Michelle Saftich resides in Brisbane, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology.

For the past 20 years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations.
Born and raised in Brisbane, she spent 10 years living in Sydney; and two years in Osaka, Japan, where she taught English.

Her historical fiction novel, Port of No Return, was inspired by a true family story. It was published by Australian independent publishing house, Odyssey Books in 2015. Its sequel, Wanderers No More was released in August 2017. Michelle is married with two children.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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