Monthly Archives: October 2019

Stolen butterflies, charismatic ski-jumpers and NaNoWriMo 2019

It’s that time of the year again lovelies! I’m going to be editing my novel from last year as I’ve had several requests for full manuscript submissions and it needs work! It’s had a title change – but not much else.

I had intended on writing a new manuscript – based on this chappie:

Colin Wyatt, was an Englishman, who came to Australia in 1939, left to complete service during the war but came back soon after. He was best known for his prowess as a champion ski jumper. He spoke over half dozen languages and was an accomplished painter and landscape artist who held several exhibitions here. He was also a very charismatic individual by all accounts!

What sets Wyatt apart – aside from his champion ski-jumping and overall charm, he was also a learned entomologist, and collected many rare specimens.

He was also a thief.

In fact he stole over 1500 butterfly specimens from the Australian museum in 1947 and as it turns out many others from museums around Australia during his time here. When the theft was traced back to England, over 3000 Australian species were found in his vast private collection.

The species he stole were from the Ogyris genus of butterflies, many of which are a pretty mettalic blue. I can definitely see the attraction! I’m sure we have several species from this family at the Waite Insect and Nematode Collection (where I work) I should takes some images. In fact South Australia has several species – SA Butterflies.

It’s a fascinating story, one that bears retelling. After I did Hannah Kent’s workshop recently on historical fiction I’ve been much enthused about the project. For now its on hold until early next year and until Nano is over and done for another year!