It’s been a busy few months with the release of my eighth novel, An Uncommon Woman. A tour of the western Downs region of Queensland was a great week allowing me to see more of our wonderful countryside, catch up with relatives – there are a lot of Alexander’s over the border from NSW, and of course meet and talk books with readers. If you live in regional, rural or remote Australia the opportunity to participate in more cultural interests isn’t something that happens everyday. Living in a rural environment myself I know I appreciate any event that involves the more creative side of life. 2,000 kilometres and eleven libraries and a workshop later I arrived home, but it wasn’t long before I set off to Melbourne for the Historical Novel Society Australasia’s conference for readers, writers and creatives at Swinburne University.
I was honoured to fill in for Kerry Greenwood, creator of Miss Phryne Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (ABC network) at this years conference. The audience came to hear the doyenne of historical crime, but instead I talked about Australia’s wonderful history, pastoral legacy – we are so much more than convicts and the military, and the inspiration for my writing. Of the many Oz authors I caught up with it was a pleasure to see (above) LisaChaplin and IsoldeMartyn.
The Hervey Bay writers festival was next so after a couple of days break I set off for Queensland. A jam packed 3 days of workshops, talks, interviews and panel discussions with a view kept all of us presenters very busy. Participants included Don Watson (author of The Bush) performance poet Gabriella Salmon and Peter Fitzsimmons, with ‘An Uncommon Woman’ chosen as the QLD Fraser Coast ‘One big read’. It was exciting speaking after Peter Fitzsimmons to the 200 strong audience at the Sunshine Coast University campus. He certainly knows how to rev up a crowd.