Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

This is the cover art I have designed for my memoir of the same name Nightmare in Paradise. 

Let me tell you about MY NIGHTMARE IN PARADISE

Firstly I want you to imagine that you have come to Vanuatu as a tourist and decide to visit Tanna to see the World’s most accessible  active volcano and you stay at White Grass resort. The culture change starts at the domestic terminal in Vila where you as well as your luggage are weighed before being shown to either the 6 seat islander or 22 seat Dehavilland Otter. You might be one of a couple of Europeans. The rest are local people who are clearly terrified, bundles of manioc and kava root. Fear, you find, has its own smell. A very strong BO with a definite edge which, mixed with the earthy smell from the roots and the odour of the aviation fuel leads to a memorable but uncomfortable flight. You realise you have begun your descent when sea changes to jungle and that appears to be almost touching distance. But where is the runway? You bounce down in a clearing on a grass strip which undulates, up and down until you finally bounce to a stop outside a square cement building with lots of locals milling about and the sign in big red letters Tanna International Airport greets you. No-one comes to meet you. White Grass workers are too shy to talk to strangers. You look about and may find your eyes staring at a bare breasted woman suckling a piglet. You start to feel more than a little nervous.

Nothing dispels this feeling as you get taken in the dual cab truck loaded with locals and vegetables in the tray at the back passing through what you are told is the town of Lenakel. It is like no town you know, just a couple of square block buildings, no houses then into the jungle for the half hour drive down a dirt track with occasional glimpses of a dirt clearing and a few rudimentary thatched huts.Finally you arrive pleasantly surprised at the  beach side bungalows. But you are the only guests.There is solar powered dim lighting but otherwise no electricity, you can’t get a cold drink, the locals can’t or won’t speak English and you know you can’t escape. You feel isolated and abandoned. If you are lucky the volcano tour goes without a hitch and the remembrance of standing on the edge as it throws up red hot rocks and smoke will overcome that fear and panic that initially beset you. Your visit to the custom village takes you back to a different age and you know that these penis sheathed men and grass skirted women are not orchestrating this for the tourists. You know this is the way people live here irregardless of whether they wear clothes or not. You realise that life here has changed little from early, primitive times.

This is the world in which we placed ourselves for a period of four years when we went into partnership with the head chief of the island running the small resort of White Grass.

Nightmare in Paradise is the story of us as a young couple taking a giant leap into an unknown world, of our dreams and the struggle to make those dreams become reality and then the struggle just to keep the dream alive. It is the story of another, older world steeped in custom, tradition with witchdoctors and chiefs, ceremonies and magic. It is the death of our dreams with the kidnap of Roger. It is our despair as we are ordered back to the island whilst fighting for our equity rights in the courts and our new traumas on the island as we have a tourist killed at the volcano by a piece of flying lava, and having our residency and our right to work  revoked. It is the story of our eventual triumph. It’s look at our life on the island and our interaction with local life. It is dramatic, yet often humorous. It is a book that you won’t be able to put down. It is Nightmare in Paradise.

This memoir is not yet published but is close to it.

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in Daily Post prompt and challenges, Memoir, photography, road to being published and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

  1. Can’t wait to read the whole book!


  2. Norah says:

    Oh Irene, what a tale! It definitely sounds like one impossible to put down. I do like the cover and eagerly await the book’s publication. Best wishes with it.


  3. bkpyett says:

    Congratulations Irene, the cover suits your story. What drama! Shall be very interested to read the whole thing!


  4. Great photo and the books sound interesting. 😍💕


  5. colinmathers says:

    Looking forward to reading it!


  6. Charli Mills says:

    Wow! What a read…I want to read more! I want to pepper you with questions…what a place! What a life! The cover is terrific–blue is a good color to use. The photo is so striking and tells the reader this is no ordinary memoir! You have a good hook right there on the back cover (as if witchdoctors and volcanoes in the subtitle weren’t hook enough)! Congratulations on being so close!


  7. TanGental says:

    You clearly have a mad streak about which I want to know more. Can’t wait Irene and brilliant you have got to this point.


    • Thank you Geoff. When we married Roger’s sister apologised to my parents for the madness on which we were embarking. My parents reply “if the truth be known, its probably us that should be apologising to you.” For us it was just a huge adventure.
      Congratulations are certainly due to you though Geoff. Amazon supplied and I’m now looking forward to reading Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. Well done.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sherri says:

    Oh Irene, I can’t wait to read your book and I absolutely love your cover reveal! Anything I can do to help promote your book, apart from read and review it of course, please let me know. I am so thrilled for you but what an adventure you and Roger had, wow 😮 I hadn’t quite grasped the full gist but now I have…bravo my friend. Now let’s get that walk in we’ve been threatening to take for so long and you can tell me all about exploding volcanoes and crazy witchdoctors and the rest… 😀 ❤


  9. Annecdotist says:

    Fab cover, Irene, and perfect for your intriguing story. Culture clashes are so interesting and such potential for both humour and pathos. (But watch for that typo in the blurb – there’s an it’s masquerading as an its.) Good luck for your launch – another adventure ahead!


    • Thanks so much Anne. I’ll fix it up before it goes to press. Hopefully the narrative has had more fine editing than the blurb and it is confined to that. Glad you like the cover. I still have a bit of work to do before it is published and with everything else it seems to be the item pushed to the backburner but soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like a can’t-put-down adventure. Best wishes on this endeavor.


  11. Lisa Reiter says:

    Cannot Wait Irene! If you need beta readers, I volunteer !
    Brilliant eye-catching cover for a unique story 🙂


  12. ChristineR says:

    This is a terrific cover, Irene. I’ve looked, but cannot see anything else here about Nightmare in Paradise’s progress. My imagination was certainly stimulated by your descriptions and it sounds well worth reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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