By Sam Watson

PHILLIP Island’s Sue Saliba released her latest novel, ‘Once, at the edge of the sea’ at Turn the Page in Cowes recently.

In her 30 years of writing, Sue’s books have been awarded and shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award.

Her latest book is about a young woman who lives on Phillip Island and protects local hooded plovers.

Sue didn’t find it hard to find inspiration for the story, as she’s been a volunteer looking after hooded plovers on Phillip Island for many years.

But she wanted to explore the emotional difficulties that come with protecting wildlife or a special place.

“There is a joy that you get from it but there are also really difficult parts,” Sue said.

“Like the disappointment when the birds don’t survive and the actual feeling of devastation about the possible extinction that whole species faces.”

With more young people becoming involved with the climate change battle, Sue thought it would be the perfect time to look at both emotional sides of the equation.

And the response has been positive so far.

“People have responded to the role of the natural environment, particularly the hooded plovers and their plight.”

Although the main character in the novel is 15, Sue said many adults felt a deep connection to the story and its themes.

Sue was also thankful for the opportunity to launch the book in front of her biggest supporters.

“It was particularly nice to launch the book in the local community with friends and people who have been supportive in the process of writing the book and of my writing in general over the years.”

More books may be on the way from Sue, and she will continue writing about what she’s curious about, particularly in the natural world.

She also couldn’t be happier with the front cover illustration from her good friend Anne Shenfield.

‘Once, at the edge of the sea’ can be purchased from Turn the Page in Cowes and ArtSpace Wonthaggi.

You can also purchase it at suesaliba.com, where you will find out more about the award-winning author and her novels.