Eva Maria Chapman

Coming Soon

Butterflies & Demons

Available in 2009

There is no cover yet but it will incorporate the butterfly which features on this website. This is the wood white or Delias aganippe - a rare butterfly in the Adelaide area. These butterflies, like the Kaurna Aborigines, were abundant on the Adelaide plain, when the British set up the colony of South Australia in 1836. Fortunately the Adelaide Butterfly society has taken the Delius Aganippe as its mascot and finding ways to reintroduce habitat that will support it.

Butterflies & Demons is a sizzling mixture of historic fiction, fantasy and truth and is based on a compelling vision the author had in the Peruvian jungle in 2005, which is reflected in the title. The story bounces between two eras- the 1830s and the 1950s and is set in the uneventful wowser town of Adelaide. But as often happens in such sleepy towns, murky truths lie suppressed beneath the seemingly staid surface. Based on carefully researched historical material, the author graphically describes the benign face of near genocide, as the supposedly enlightened new colony of South Australia silently wipes out its original inhabitants, the Kaurna. But not quite silently enough. In 1950 a migrant child from war torn Eastern Europe enters the blindingly sunny streets of Adelaide and experiences first hand the assimilationist tactics of Ango Saxon imperialism, subtly disguised in a country bumpkin form. She sees no black inhabitants anywhere, but their presence beneath the wide manicured pavements, filters through with startling inevitability.
The snapshot stories introduced in Chapter 1, continue in alternate chapters and eventually converge, demonstrating with unflinching certainty that the past cannot be buried and that suppressed guilt will always surface, often in rather horrifying ways.

Butterflies & Demons is also a story of hope. When the British first came to Australia, there were over 400 distinct Aboriginal languages. Now most are lost. Butterflies & Demons charts the amazing story of how the Kaurna language was saved, and is now taught in schools. The hero of Butterflies & Demons is Mullawirraburka, the last Kaurna warrior who died in 1845. Butterflies & Demons shows how Mullawirraburka was largely responsible for the peaceful relations between whites and blacks in the early days of the colony. Mullawirraburka deserves a statue and any royalties I receive will be put toward that end.

A modern day Adelaide hero is Yeloburka or Uncle Lewis O’Brien, Adelaide Kaurna elder. He has read and advised me on earlier drafts of Butterflies & Demons. He has also written a great autobiography And the Clock struck Thirteen (Wakefield Press 2007). He gives Butterflies & Demons his blessing. He also read Sasha & Olga and despite his own horrendous background, had the humility to say to me, ‘You had it much worse than me’.

Vanessa & Zadie

I am actively looking for an agent or a publisher for this book.

Vanessa and Zadie are 18 year old MySpace friends. Tamara discovers to her horror that her daughter Vanessa, is smoking skunk. She panics as the devastating disease of schizophrenia has stalked her family, having claimed her mother and younger sister. And skunk is known to be implicated in teenage psychosis. In desperation Tamara enlists the help of her arch enemy, her older sister Vera who is a retired psychotherapist, baby-boomer and one time hippy. Vera, much to the amusement of her husband Jim, takes this task very seriously. She discovers that the world Vanessa lives in, is vastly different to the teenage world of her own children, who are now grown up. She is confronted by a sea of exploding cyberspace with its plethora of chat-rooms, music videos and mobile phone slavery, and a rave culture which peddles a host of designer drugs, more potent and freely available than in her youth. To understand Vanessa’s world, Vera joins MySpace and YouTube and even drags Jim to Amsterdam so they can experience skunk first hand . All these explorations end up in some hilarious and frightening situations. The plot thickens when the depth of Vera’s obsession is dramatically uncovered. Jim finds out that Vera, in her eagerness to help her niece, has gone way too far. In a delicious twist, the reader discovers that unbeknownst to everybody, Vera has been leading a double life. In a suspenseful climax, Jim double bluffs Vera and beats her at her own game, at the same time saving her from a very messy outcome. This exposes the darker side of cyberspace with its infinite scope for manipulation and deceit. It is also a wry, warm look at a long term relationship in which the spark is vitally rekindled as a result of Vera’s dangerous flirtation with a world of subterfuge.

Johnny & Gisela

I am actively looking for an agent or a publisher for this book.

Gisela, the beautiful, rich Bohemian heroine needs to be brought down a peg or two and who better to do it than hunky Australian Johnny. Every girl dreams of a man like Johnny - razor sharp, devilishly handsome but with great integrity. You hate him and you love him. This guy knows who he is and knows the kind of woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. And it is one with whom he can keep the electricity and romance alive, always. Everyone dreams of the possibility of such a relationship. While sub plots unfold in various exotic locations all over the world, it is the scintillating dialogue of the central characters that grips the reader right up till the end. Will they won’t they? In this case it is; will they won’t they, kiss. This is because in the plot line, Gisela sets out to find the world’s best kisser. A kissing competition may sound trite but it is just an amusing springboard for deeper layers of relationship dynamics to be exposed and played out.

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