I’m Ruth Back-Bonetti, third generation Australian Finland Swede.
Your help enables me to publish my books about ancestors who were refugees from Russian occupied Finland. They found safe haven in Australia around 1900.
A treasure trove of century old archival letters uncovered stories of settlers who battled, migrants who made good...and some who lost it all. These Finnish-Australian battlers fled their icy Scandinavian home to become Aussie pioneers. And also the ones that stayed behind—what did they go through? My family in Finland helped me translate folders of old letters and gave me parish records dating back 500 years. From all this I pieced together the jigsaw puzzle of what caused these people to escape, what they left behind and fruitful lives in Australia.
These stories tell of escape, hope and freedom.
It’s time to release these two books to the world!
Check out the great ways that you can support this project below. By pledging your support you can:
•pre-purchase your own autographed copy of the books
•secure invitations to launch parties
• get goodies like gingerbread, heritage wreath, photo collage
People everywhere who search their roots will resonate with ‘Burn My Letters.’ And its sequel.
Thanks in anticipation of your support. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the stories!
Great LAUNCH VENUE
I can almost afford an ideal venue - and to pay musicians
In the process, I've loved meeting people of shared heritage.
Now I can realise my dreams...and give back to you lovely supporters.
What would I do with even more funds?
More Words and MUSIC! Live Music.
With an extra $1000 I can book a singer and my son's gypsy band, Greshka.
I'll commission André to arrange Scandinavian music specially for the event.
These talented musicians deserve REAL fees, not mates' rates.
My new target is $4,300 so we can:
• enjoy lively musical parties for each book.
• record excerpts from the books, interspersed with some launch music and sound files for download.
Because we can't neglect the people who live too far away to attend!
And Words AND Music are my forte.
LAST WEEK special offer: free postage overseas!
Some Of My Previous Work
• Conference Paper: Two Finnish Migrants Down Under: An Australian biographical perspective (Institute of Migration).
• Journal article Finland Through Australian Eyes. (Institute of Migration, Turku, Finland)
As a muso, I'm author/editor of a dozen publications about music and performance, 2 with Oxford University Press and 5 through my indie publishing house, Words and Music. A QWC and ASA member, I founded Omega Writers in 1990, edited their anthology and produced performances of members’ writing.
My articles have been published in journals and papers in UK, USA, Finland and Australia.
How The Funds Will Be Used
Layout, prepress formatting and eBook conversion - $1200
Printing, distribution costs - $1500
Promotion: advertisement in journals, print flyers, postcards- $ 300
My Finnish relatives gave me masses of parish records, information and resources. Helped me overcome the challenge to translate archival letters. (My conversational Swedish is fluent but these are written in old Svenska and Munsala dialect.)The letters made it easier to get inside the heads and hearts of people who died long ago.
I try to answer these questions:
• Who/what are we?
• Where do we come from?
• What propelled the flight of two brothers and a sister to Australia?
• What events in Finland drove them out?
• What did the remaining family endure through wars, famine and struggles for independence?
Wondering: how would I have coped in their boots?
WHAT TO LEAVE OUT?
I've already pruned and edited through many redrafts.
The stories are so gripping that rather than cull further, I'll publish as two companion books:
•Burn My Letters
•Midnight Sun to Southern Cross; Those who go, those who stay
Book 1 in July, Book 2 in September.
Yes, that means Burning Midnight Oil. But adrenalin is fuelled by enthusiasm.
I hope you enjoy these journeys around the globe as much as I did uncovering the stories.