The heroine in Snowy River Man, Katrina Delaney, isn’t an ordinary romance heroine. For one thing, she has psychic dreams. And she hates it. Hates it because it reminds her of the time she had a breakdown and ended up in a psychiatric ward, an event pivotal to the story. What Katrina, her mother and the doctors didn’t realise was her “breakdown” was part of the awakening of her psychic gift. This gift later helped her locate missing children – including the son of the hero, Jack Fairley, a wealthy mountains grazier.
So how it I get interested in psychic phenomena?
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve heard stories of psychic dreams. My nana had them. One morning, she woke up after dreaming of an old family friend who’d been missing for years. “I’ve been up in the Pilligar Scrub,” he told her. Nana was so convinced the dream was real, she tried to find the place on a map. Weeks later, the old friend turned up in my grandfather’s office in the city and announced where he’d been: the Pilligar Scrub!
My dad also had psychic dreams. Sometimes it was just the answer to a problem he’d been working on. (He was a mechanic and would dream of what was wrong with an engine.) But other times…
When I was little, Dad used to take us kids to Mass and we’d fill the whole pew. (There were ten of us back then.) We made so much noise, fidgeting and squabbling, that the old priest told my father not to bring us unless he could make us behave. Dad never went back. Years later, we were holidaying up at Forster in a caravan park and Dad had a dream. “Keep taking the little ones to Mass,” he heard a voice say. Dad discovered later that was the night the old priest died.
I’ve had my share of psychic dreams, too, some to do with the writing of Snowy River Man, but I’ll leave that for another time.
This is the third in a series of blog posts I wrote when Snowy River Man was released. A version first appeared on Book Muster Down Under and is reblogged here with permission.