Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich Blog Tour with Giveaway!
Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich
Publication Date: July 31, 2015
eBook & Paperback; 244 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Contessa and Ettore Saforo awake to a normal day in war-stricken, occupied Italy. By the end of the day, their house is in ruins and they must seek shelter and protection wherever they can. But the turbulent politics of 1944 refuses to let them be. As Tito and his Yugoslav Army threaten their German-held town of Fiume, Ettore finds himself running for his life, knowing that neither side is forgiving of those who have assisted the enemy. His wife and children must also flee the meagre life their town can offer, searching for a better life as displaced persons. Ettore and Contessa’s battle to find each other, and the struggle of their family and friends to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a devastating war, provide a rich and varied account of Italian migration to Australia after World War II. What can you do when you have nowhere left to call home? Port of No Return considers this question and more in a novel that is full of action, pain and laughter — a journey you will want to see through to the very end. Port of No Return is the first novel in a series of two.
About the AuthorMichelle Saftich is a first time author who resides in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and two children. She holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). For the past twenty years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations. In 1999, she was named National Winner for Best News Story in the ASNA (Australian Suburban Newspaper Awards). Born and raised in Brisbane, she spent ten years living in Sydney; and two years in Osaka, Japan, where she taught English. For more information please visit Michelle Saftich's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Interview with the Author :)
What inspired you to write your first book?
My father’s stories of his childhood, often told over the dinner table, were always entertaining but had an underlying sadness to them. Most his early childhood was spent as a World War II refugee and he would reside in refugee camps, pretty much for the first eight years of his life. I wanted to better understand how he came to be in Australia and why the beautiful Italian city of his birth was no longer in Italy, but a part of Croatia (previously Yugoslavia). I was inspired by the family story and the bigger historical story of conflict, systematic killings and mass migration. I was compelled to bring this part of history to life.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My story seeks to demonstrate the resilience of people and the importance of having a space of your own to call home, a job and access to schooling. People continually strive to have these things and are willing to leave country, culture and all they’ve ever known in order to have that sense of security and of being settled. Plus, that family and friends are terribly important when all else is lost.
How much of the book is realistic?
All right, there are some moments when the writer in me added some flair, exaggeration and dramatic tension for the sake of a good read. But the majority of it is based on true family or historic experiences and aims to stay realistic.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The novel keeps close to my father’s family and their journey in fleeing their Italian city when it was taken by Tito’s Yugoslav Army. I did interview other Italians and wove their stories into the plotlines. Historic research also helped to enhance my writings.
What are your current projects?
After writing Port of No Return and its sequel Wanderers No More, I’m now writing something quite different, in a completely different genre, though I’ve still inserted refugee issues into my story.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Of course, my wonderful publisher at Odyssey Publishing.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? In writing these books, it was important to stay true to my father’s family and his journey, while giving the reader a sense of the time and place and the true historic significance of what took place, impacting on the futures of hundreds of thousands of people. I needed to be sensitive to them and their experiences.
What are your expectations for the book?
That it raises awareness of this little-known conflict and the mass movement of Italians across the globe that followed, paying tribute to their resilience.