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Finalist in The Shirley You Jest Book Awards.
Tara Babcock awakes the morning after her 30th birthday with a hangover that could kill an elephant - and the knowledge she is still no closer to achieving closure on her marriage breakup. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers that, not only is her ex-husband engaged to her cousin - Tash, the woman he left her for - but that Jake is also running for Lord Major of Sydney.
Desperate to leave the destructive relationship behind and with nothing to lose, she decides- with encouragement from her three best friends - to follow the dubious advice from a magazine article, Closure in Seven Easy Steps.
The Seven Steps to Closure follows Tara on her sometimes disastrous- always hilarious - path to achieve the seemingly impossible.
A credible and amazingly touching debut novel from Donna Joy Usher, this is a solid, light-hearted and honest read with plenty of laughs.
"The Seven Steps to Closure’s heroine Tara is an endearing character and her entertaining journey to closure is packed with laughs and plenty of heart." Tonya Plank, Shirley You Jest! Book Awards judge and author of Swallow
A Great Guest Post By Donna Joy Usher
A lot of people have asked me what characters from books or films inspired the character of Tara, the protagonist in my debut novel, The Seven Steps to Closure. I’ve put a lot of thought into that question - searching my memory for films I have seen or books I’ve read that may have subconsciously inspired Tara - and at the end of all that I’ve come up with this: none.
I’m not sure if I am biased, or perhaps I know Tara so intimately that I can’t compare her to other characters and find a similarity. I think though, that perhaps the reason for this is that the inspiration for Tara, and in fact a lot of the story, came from within me. I’m not saying that Tara is me - although we share the ability to horrendously embarrass ourselves - but that parts of me were the catalyst for her development. After I had breathed life into her, and she had started making decisions for herself, it became evident she was not a carbon copy of me.
Apart from our inherent klutziness Tara and I both have a single sister - mine doesn’t have quite as many children though. I also have an extremely close relationship with my parents, and have previously had a relationship with a manipulative bastard – but that is where our similarities end. (All right, all right, I have had a history of struggling to keep pets alive – but they were goldfish, and I’ve since moved on to larger animals with a better life expectancy.)
I did use other areas of my life as inspiration for the storyline: my knowledge of dentistry, my travels through India, my pilot husband and a journalist brother-in-law. I have, however, never internet dated.
The only area in which I was influenced externally with the development of The Seven Steps to Closure was in my creation of her friends. Sex in the City was the determining factor in the number of her friends and the dynamics of the group – but apart from Elaine being somewhat similar to Samantha, the other’s personalities are their own. I felt that four was a good number for a circle of friends. No-one is ever left out and there is no need for jealousy, plus it allows for a lot of interesting plots within the friends themselves.
I am sure in the future my works will take inspiration from books and movies I’ve seen, but I think a lot of debut novels are based on the authors themselves. Perhaps it is an egotistical need to personify ourselves, capturing our youth forever in the pages of our creation? I feel, however, it is more to do with the fact that we are already wandering so far outside our comfort zone, thinking we could actually write an entire novel, that we play it safe by sticking to what we know – ourselves.
Here's Some Info About The Author
Born in Brisbane, I started my working life as a dentist. After 15 years of drilling and filling I discovered there was more to life, and put pen to paper. Now I drill by day and write by night.
When not doing either of those things I like spending time with my husband and two little dogs, fishing and camping, motorbike riding, traveling, drinking wine on my deck and eating chocolate. Last year I ran my first half marathon and took up paddle boarding.
I have lived in a myriad of places: Melbourne, Perth, England, Rockhampton, Roxby Downs, Sydney, Cairns and am now situated on the New South Wales Central Coast.
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