Thanks for having me over on your blog, Nic. It’s lovely to be visiting you!

 As most readers will know, the Rural Lit genre has expanded greatly, in the last three years. From initially only having one or two authors, there is now more than a book a month being published in this category.  Obviously, this is great for readers who haven’t been able to get enough of these country stories.

 I think it’s clear that ‘Rural Lit’ covers two different streams of country based stories. One is the growing ‘Rural Romance’ kind. These are wonderful, feel good love stories. Some, not only tell of relationships, but touch on the hard subjects of farming. Most, however, are pure romance.

 Rural Lit, is a broader subject. There has be relationships inside these books – that is the way of the world, but there are other stories to tell. The history of the land, the beauty of the sunrises and sets, the hardships and good times country people face. Not just now, but in times gone past, too.

 Do you ever wonder how this land was opened up? How the shearing shed and yards miraculously appeared? How on earth did the building material get to the furthest flung parts of our beautiful land?

 For sometime I’ve been fascinated with the Afghan Camel Trains. While I was back in SA last, I remembered that when I was a kid, a bloke in a beat up minibus used to come around to small country towns selling things like socks, books, saddles, leather goods, and  well, everything really. I can remember him opening the back of the van and being in awe of the amount of gear, which was inside, as well as the variety. He was a modern day Cameleer.

 From that memory, I got to thinking. I knew that in the early 1900s, Afghan Camel Trains used to take loads of wool from the Nullarbor, down to my local beach, transfer it onto a barge and float it out to a ship in the bay. From there it would sail to the Fremantle Wool Stores and be sold. How ingenious! But of course it was through necessity.  

 I’ve been to Pine Hill, where the Cameleers took their breaks, seen the stone troughs they built to water their camels and the graves of the men who didn’t survive. How could I not write about these men, their stories and incredible animals? Well, within the pages of Silver Clouds, these three lines of history will (hopefully!) come to life.

 But I also touch on another subject that is fairly close to my heart. Young people and alcohol. It’s something I see most night on the TV news. Young people who are drunk and what that can to do their lives. Tessa’s journey starts with alcohol and, seven years on from a terrible accident, it is still affecting her. 

I hope this gives you a bit of a taster for my latest offering, in the Rural Lit genre.

 Thanks, Nic!

Pleasure Fleur, this sounds like a great book and touches on historical elements that I use in my own work. The history of our great country is unique with many stories to tell. I look forward to reading Silver Clouds. N