Deborah Barlow receives a personally signed copy of The Ottoman Motel from author Christopher Currie.
Deborah Barlow receives a personally signed copy of The Ottoman Motel from author Christopher Currie. Deanna Millard

Author returns to hometown

GROWING up in Warwick inspired Christopher Currie to write his first novel The Ottoman Motel, he revealed to a captive audience at his book launch at Cafe Jacqui’s on Saturday evening.

The novelist shared stories with the crowd of more than 60 about growing up in Warwick, and the process involved in writing his first full-length novel.

“I started writing this story 10 years ago when I finished my creative writing course at QUT,” he said.

“I would write sporadically and finally finished the last third of the book in a long weekend to be able to submit it in the 2007 Australian Vogel Awards.”

Mr Currie said memories of his childhood in Warwick inspired parts of the story.

Magpie Lake, where the parents of 11-year-old boy Simon go missing, is based on Lake Leslie.

“I remember visiting Lake Leslie as a child and being fascinated when the water level dropped and you could see the worlds that lived under the water,” he said.

While developing Simon’s character and imagining the fear he felt, a memory of being at the Warwick Show when he was six and lost his mother’s hand came to mind.

“I was terrified, thinking I had lost mum and thought, ‘What am I going to do? I can’t eat dagwood dogs for the rest of my life’,” he added with a chuckle.

As for the marriage proposal contained in the acknowledgements page of the novel, Mr Currie said he wanted to be original and as he pondered what made him an individual the solution quickly came to light.

However, the romantic went even further, taking his girlfriend Lisa to a hotel on her birthday and proposing by handing her the book at sunset on their balcony.

“Lisa saw her name and the word marriage and said ‘yes’ to me even before I could get the ring box open,” he said, beaming.

Mr Currie said he was honoured to launch his book in his hometown and was extremely pleased with the turnout and the venue.

“It’s great to see so many familiar faces here,” he said.

“This is a very special moment for me.”

Long-time family friend Clare Cotton, who has known Mr Currie since he was a baby, said it was wonderful to see his creative career boom.

“I am a member of the Warwick Art’s Council bookclub and will be proud to introduce The Ottoman Motel at our monthly meeting,” she said.

The bookclub meets at the Criterion Hotel on the first Monday of each month.

Those interested in joining can contact Ms Cotton on 4661 8567.



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