Author Janie Conway-Herron will launch her first book, Beneath the Grace of Clouds, today at the Co-op Bookshop in Goodman Plaza at Southern Cross University in Lismore.
Author Janie Conway-Herron will launch her first book, Beneath the Grace of Clouds, today at the Co-op Bookshop in Goodman Plaza at Southern Cross University in Lismore. CATHY ADAMS

Academic's life an open book

WHEN Janie Conway-Herron launches her first book this afternoon it will be the realisation of a long-held dream.

She has worked as a lecturer in creative writing at Southern Cross University for 14 years, helping students to write their stories.

But now she is about to share her own – Beneath the Grace of Clouds.

“The idea for the book started many years ago when I thought about one of my ancestors who came to Australia on the First Fleet,” Dr Conway-Herron said.

“I started to think about my ancestor’s interaction with indigenous people. The book is fiction, but based on historical facts and aspects of my own life.

“It’s been a long time coming.”

But that’s because the writer has been busy doing lots of other things.

As well as lecturing and writing her book, Dr Conway-Herron regularly travels to the Thai-Burma border to run creative writing workshops with women refugees.

“They tell the stories of what life has been like for them under Burma’s regime,” she said.

“Somehow I seem to have a real connection with these women.

“My trips there have been eye opening. I have learnt a lot.

“These women have so much courage and fortitude and I feel it is really necessary for them to be able to tell their stories.”

Beneath the Grace of Clouds will be launched today at SCU’s Co-op Bookshop at 4pm.



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