I had an unfortunate accident in October 2011 resulting in third degree burns and a head injury with ongoing infections and complications. It was a rough eight months of recovery, but recover I did. My husband took marvellous care of me along with some very good doctors and nurses, and the support of loving family and friends.
After being housebound and bedridden (or sofa ridden in front of TV) for most of that eight months, we decided to take a trip to celebrate my recovery and invigorate ourselves after so many stressful months. I hadn’t done any writing at all during that eight months and the book I had almost finished, HOME TO ROOST, another dark dramatic fiction like A PLACE IN TIME and DAMAGED GOODS, and the new children’s series of AUNT EDNA STORIES I was working on had languished in my lovely sunny writing room at the back of the house, ignored and missed. When I tried to pick them up to continue them, I found my head had gone to sleep and nothing was forthcoming. Probably a result of lying in front of daytime TV for so long. It turns the brain to mush.
A holiday was in order. A change of scenery. Some new places and new faces. And being winter in Canberra, we wanted to find summer for awhile.
We’d done a package bus tour of Egypt in 2010 and loved it, so decided to do the same in Europe. One of those, “if it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium” type tours. But the one we chose was a garden tour. We spent the whole of July 2012 travelling around Europe looking at beautiful gardens as well as the other usual tourist sites on the way. We had a fabulous time! We shared a bus with thirty other people who were mostly over 60 like me and Hubby. I came home inspired to write a story about a group of ageing Baby Boomers who have never met before and are forced to share a small space, a bus, for a considerable time. It started as a short story just to get my head back into writing mode, but soon became a book. I called it OLD FARTS ON A BUS and I had a ball with it!
We ageing western Baby Boomers are an eccentric lot. We are the most educated, the most affluent, the most cultured and the most demanding generation in history. In my lifetime alone, we have seen the status of women change dramatically, as well as many other social and economic changes. But the basic nature of human beings hasn’t changed. The best in us gets better as we age, and the worst in us gets worse. And that’s where the fun is.
OLD FARTS ON A BUS is a compilation of my own experiences on several bus tours in several parts of the world, as well as stories I have heard – and keep hearing. It begins with this disclaimer:
“All characters and events appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely a result of your paranoia. Get over it. And enjoy the ride!”
I got back to my other projects eventually, but sometimes a book inside you demands to be finished, and OLD FARTS ON A BUS was one of those books. After I published it, I quickly discovered that its target market was definitely the over 60s, which makes sense as that is who it is about. A young woman I know tried to read it and didn’t get it at all. My 90 year old mother read it and loved it so much that it is doing the rounds in her retirement village and they love it. I call that market research. If you are 60+ and reading this, you might enjoy it too. Cheers!