Marsden Park Series

Marsden park is a new suburb that is rapidly growing on the outer edges of Western Sydney. Bisected by Richmond Road, the suburb now has a Homemaker Center, Costco, Shopping Village, and new housing estates.

Throughout my Library Degree, I have had to create a fictional library to base a number of my assignments on. I created the Marsden Park library, with grand visions of it one day becoming reality (one can dream). It’s a huge modern library; the bottom level is similar to the Penrith library, which has all of the physical collection and children’s section downstairs. Upstairs, is a large makerspace, the Indigenous collection, and tech rooms for classes.

Similar to Penrith, the library is attached to the council building, so it is easy to walk between the two buildings. It has a large auditorium, and it is next to a large Westfield shopping center. I drew most of my inspiration from Penrith, where I did my professional placement a few years back.

My inspiration for Catalogue of Disaster sprung from when I was studying the Community Histories subject while in lockdown. One of my assignments called for a fictional library, so of course I used the Marsden Park library.
One night, I couldn’t sleep. The idea of the story came to me, and I wrote down the entire plot outline in the notes app on my phone. I did not go to sleep until 5am. As soon as I woke up, I started writing the story.

Spoiler alert: Click for a discussion about Jake from CoD

Jake is a male version of me; if I could cut out my male side and spawn him into a person, that would be him. He is young and keen, very smart and dedicated to his career. He desperately wants to find someone, but every time he begins a relationship, it fizzles out.

He finds out during the story that he fits under the demisexual umbrella – he is only sexually attracted to people he has a strong connection to. As with all of the rainbow sexualities, now two demisexuals are the same. For Jake, he wants to have sex, but it has never happened. He has never persued that with any of his girlfriends in the past.

The night he finally got Alison home, as much as Jake wanted sex, he really didn’t like Alison, and as such he couldn’t get aroused (not to mention all of the alcohol he consumed).

Falling in love so quickly with Garret is another part of being demi – once that connection is made with someone, love can be instant and last for as long as that connection exists. I have fallen in ‘love’ with people I’ve never met, based on this phenomenon.

Jake is shocked when he realises he is attracted to Garret. As it turns out, Jake is pansexual – he is attracted to the person, not their gender. Being an academic and intellectual means that Jake processed it and just went with it.

Being the son of a nurse, Jake has grown up with regular {embarrassing and awkward} conversations around sex and STIs, HIV and all that good stuff. He knows about PReP and HIV treatments, as well as all the other STIs. So when he learns about Garret’s HIV, straight away he wants to know what treatment Garret is using.

Garret is a responsible man, Jake knows this. So when Garret breaks the news, Jake is not concerned about transmission because of using protection, PReP, and as we learn, Garret’s treatment which keeps his viral load undetectable.

Garret is a beautiful soul. He keeps others at bay by being the office grump, not to be a rude prick, but because he is afraid to let people close and get hurt again. While it’s not mentioned in the book, Garret is sapiosexual, which means attracted to intelligence. His ex was not that intelligent, so when Jakey-Bum comes along, he is blown away.

Am I done with Jake and Garret?

I had an idea for a book 2, which grows on Jake and Alison’s couch fiasco, but I stopped writing it about half-way in. I might alter this into a short story which could be a free read down the track, or maybe I’ll write the story as I saw it. Or scrap it all together.

My current story, still not titled, has a few sneaky crossovers. Cameron does some shifts at the Marsden Park library / council, and spies Garret from afar. He also crosses paths with Alison. There is another sneaky one, but I’m not going to tell you that. If you find it, email me for a prize 😉

I’m certainly not finished with Marsden Park, and do plan to write some more stories in this area down the track. Once I finish my current story, though, all of my attention will be turned to writing The Darkest Realm.
Thanks for reading, and watch this space for the release of book 2!

Cover art of Catalogue of Disaster: Man in smart suit has his hand to his glasses, as though checking someone out. Background are library shelves.
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