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Hello again reader, sorry it’s been so long. All I can say is life seems to have taken some interesting twists and turns and I’m just now beginning to catch up.

My days have been jam packed and writing is only one part of the routine. But I am pleased to be able to say it still has top billing. I’ve actually been blessed with more time to call my own, but somehow, it’s also been sucked down a vortex of having to share my house again.

One of the things I’ve been contemplating is my story setting. With any novel, there needs to be research done. Even when you know your subject, there are points and information that will need checking.

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Sinclair Girnigoe Castle, Caithness, Scotland UK

Sinclair Girnigoe Castle, Caithness, Scotland UK The setting for my YA timeslip.

I began writing a YA time slip story about ten years ago, I got about half way through and got lost. I found I couldn’t write it when I had never been to Scotland. In an effort to not simply stop writing, I decided to write an Australian Historical. Maybe a short story. Just to keep my writing happening.

I found a suitable competition for a story of about 3,000 words and thought it sounded perfect. 100,000 words later I had my first ever finished first draft. It was wobbly, had no structure and way too many adverbs and adjectives, but I finished.

Fast forward seven years and several million words, well maybe a bit less, but you get the idea, and I’ve dragged out the old manuscript and have started again.


Hunter River, setting for my historical fiction


The setting for this is the early settlement of the Hunter Valley and it’s been so much fun to research where we live. There is so much I didn’t know about the river and the people. Every time I come across a familiar name in historic accounts or articles I want to add yet another character to my too long list.

The setting in my stories are pretty much a character in their own right. From the wild northern coast of Scotland, to the brown ribbon of the Hunter River, I love to weave in a sense of place for my characters to move about in. I also love to read stories that ground me in the setting. I want to feel as if I am standing in the characters shoes and looking out through their eyes; smelling, feeling, experiencing everything they do.

Some of my favourite authors are really good at this and I find reading their stories inspiring. My top 5 favourite Australian writers are Kate Forsyth, Juliet Marillier, Cathryn Hein, Margo Lanagan and Felicity Pulman. But I can’t fail to mention Diana Gabaldon, Jilly Cooper, Stephen King and Nora Roberts.  I love lots of different writers for different reasons, and we’d be here all day if I listed them all. Now reader, how about you? Who are your favourite authors and why? I’d love to hear from you, so don’t be shy.