This lookout from Sarah Island. Circa 2010
I remembered: the cold on my hands, wrinkle skin and dry. I aim the camera. There was something in the air, something in the quiet water. Something that felt like decimation.
After taking this photo ideas began to form. Ideas belonging to the dream I had had a few months prior about the woman in a car and her child. Then this.
I wrote them down. Who knows where that notebook is now (I suspect somewhere at the bottom of a box in the garage) but I have remembered this photo and now I have a visualisation. The photo has reappeared at the right time for the second project. Now I am thinking about those lost feelings again, the way they will tie back to the characters that are forming, the way they will tie to the projects different forms of decimation, different forms of trauma. The new project is slowly worming its way out from abstract ideas into something that will boom my blood.
I should stop calling it the second project and begin to refer to it as the working title: Blue Mountain.
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writer, observer, reader, procrastinator. My debut novel, See What I Have Done, published by Hachette (ANZ), Tinder Press (UK), Grove Atlantic (US), Piper Verlag (German), Editions Payot & Rivages (French), Hollands Diep (Dutch), Edizioni Piemme (Italian), GW Foksal (Polish), Palto Publishing (Turkish), MunhakDongne (Korean)
Pippa Masson, Curtis Brown Australia
Dan Lazar, Writer’s House (US)
Gordon Wise, Curtis Brown (UK)
SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE (Awards and Some Praise)
WINNER OF THE ABIA LITERARY FICTION OF THE YEAR 2018
WINNER OF THE MUD LITERARY AWARD 2018
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018
Shortlisted for the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction 2018
Shortlisted for the Strand Critics Awards for Best First Novel
Longlisted for the ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writers 2018
Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2019
For the originality of its voice and the power of its language and imagery, See What I Have Done deserves to be considered a Gothic classic - THE SATURDAY PAPER
See What I Have Done is a meticulously researched and boldly imagined book that crackles with tension throughout. Schmidt's portrayal of Lizzie is haunting and complex, a deeply psychological portrait that forces the reader to question their preconceptions about what women are capable of - for better and worse. Both disturbing and gripping, it is an outstanding debut novel about love, death and the lifelong repercussions of unresolved grief. - The Observer
Schmidt is a consummate storyteller whose account of the Borden murders is utterly compelling. - Australian Book Review
Schmidt's writing is rich and confident, painting a vivid portrait of a household with something rotten at its core. It's a strong debut that promises much from an original and compelling new voice in Australian literature. - The Guardian
There are books about murder and there are books about imploding families; this is the rare novel that seamlessly weaves the two together, asking as many questions as it answers. - Kirkus Reviews
[An] unforgettable debut ... Equally compelling as a whodunit, 'whydunit,' and historical novel. - Publishers Weekly
Heralds the arrival of a major new talent ... Nail-biting horror mixes with a quiet, unforgettable power to create a novel readers will stay up all night finishing. - Booklist
This novel is like a crazy murdery fever dream, swirling around the day of the murders. Schmidt has written not just a tale of a crime, but a novel of the senses. There is hardly a sentence that goes by without mention of some sensation, whether it’s a smell or a sound or a taste, and it is this complete saturation of the senses that enables the novel to soak into your brain and envelope you in creepy uncomfortableness. It’s a fabulous, unsettling book. —Book Riot
Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away. —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train