Songs of the Past: Kate Gordon

CBCA Book of the Year Award-winning author Kate Gordon discusses her latest book, Whalesong, a timeslip adventure woven around Tasmania’s whaling history.

Where did the inspiration for Whalesong come from?

I’ve always wanted to write a timeslip story like Playing Beatie Bow (my favourite book as a child). I was also fascinated by news reports of statues being torn down—statues of the men throughout history who were once revered but now, through a 2020s lens, are being reconsidered and their worth re-evaluated. And then there is my lifelong love of whales and my fascination with their place in Tasmanian history.

When I began my residency at the Tasmanian Maritime Museum, these disparate threads began to weave together. And then, while exploring the “magical” objects in their collection, I found a marine chronometer and numerous pieces of beautiful scrimshaw, and I had there the catalysts for my magical journey. It was such a privilege to be able to explore so many passions and fascinations at the one time in this story!