5 Tips for historical fiction writers

Are you a writer interested in trying your hand at historical fiction? Here are my top 5 tips: 1. Choose an exact time and place for your book. For example Sydney in the colony of New South Wales, Australia, 1837. Then start reading. 2. Read lots of historical fiction on your chosen time and place so [...]

By | September 9th, 2015|A WRITERS LIFE, Inspiration|1 Comment

An untamed land – Wild Lands. Inspiration

When I began thinking about my new novel, Wild Lands, as always I was mindful of my own rural background and the pioneering spirit required by my family when they first selected land in the northwest of New South Wales. I’ve always drawn on my family’s history for inspiration when it comes to writing my [...]

By | September 4th, 2015|A WRITERS LIFE, Inspiration|2 Comments

Blade Shearing 1894: From the station archives.

The first shearing on our property took place in 1894, when the merino’s that had been overlanded from another of our properties near Inverell, in northern NSW were shorn. This photograph shows that first blade shearing.       Originally a small black and white picture, it was enlarged and tinted with colour many years ago, [...]

By | September 1st, 2015|COUNTRY LIFE, Inspiration|2 Comments

The old school-house :From the station archives

No-one knows how old this map is. No doubt if I studied it carefully I may well be able to work out the dates as the pink shaded areas depict those lands falling under the rule of the British Crown (British Malaya, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada - among others). I do know [...]

By | August 19th, 2015|A WRITERS LIFE, COUNTRY LIFE, Inspiration|0 Comments

From a croc-wrestling poet, to books and film crews.

From the Burdekin Writer's Festival in Far North QLD where a croc-wrestling bush poet got into a fight outside the local and had to be taken to hospital by an eminent historian (who says writer's fests are boring?)...           to a film crew descending on the property to talk books and farming ...followed [...]

By | August 10th, 2015|A WRITERS LIFE, COUNTRY LIFE, Inspiration|0 Comments

From the Station archives: The homestead my great-grandfather built in the 1890s.

When my great-grandfather moved westward from the New England north-west region of Inverell in the early 1890s to our current property he built a homestead on one of two separate holdings. The property was called Mona and the original house was of mud-brick and cypress pine. This early building was made with the black soil mud found on the property with the bricks [...]

All The Light We Cannot See – Book Review

Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See cleverly interweaves the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner. Marie, a blind French girl flees with her father to Saint-Malo when the Germans occupy Paris. And it is her story that becomes entwined with that of German orphan Werner, whose genius with radios makes him an expert tracker [...]

By | June 25th, 2015|Inspiration|0 Comments

From the station archives: The Pastoral Review & The ANZAC Book.

Well I’ve been digging around in the family archives again. This time searching for information from the 1950s for one of my works-in-progress. Opening boxes at our place is a bit like Christmas at times. You never know what gems you’re going to discover. Authenticity is mandatory when you’re writing bush stories with a historical [...]

By | May 30th, 2015|A WRITERS LIFE, COUNTRY LIFE, Inspiration|1 Comment

The Shiralee – Book review

It’s probably twenty years since I first read The Shiralee which was released in the 1950s but the narrative still captivates and it’s been a joy to re-read. A shiralee is a swag, a burden, and in D’Arcy Niland’s novel, Macauley's is Buster, his four year old daughter. In the novel Macauley takes the child [...]

By | May 2nd, 2015|Inspiration|0 Comments

Ishiguro wrote the brilliant The Remains of the Day (winner of the Booker prize) with the movie starring Anthony Hopkins receiving rave reviews, so I was interested to read this latest work if only for the author’s leap across genres into fantasy literature. The Buried Giant is set post King Arthur in a Britain filled [...]

By | March 29th, 2015|Inspiration|2 Comments
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