Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Joy of Setting

Perhaps because I have a deep love of nature, adore the sound of rain slashing down outside [living in a dry climate, every drop is appreciated!] and am fascinated with geography and the countries and places of the world, setting is important to me in both reading and writing novels.

Living in Australia, I am blessed with some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery anywhere in the world. Not much surpasses our fabulous l-o-n-g sandy beaches and dramatic waves pounding onto the shore. I like nothing better [when I get the chance - I live inland] than walking for miles along the seashore with the wind in your face, feeling the ocean's exhilarating power beside you and being uplifted.

In my own novels, I have shamelessly showcased many scenic and inspiring Aussie locations. My first Pocket Novel, OUTBACK HERO, was set in my own cereal farming district in Victoria complete with crumbling homestead, bushfire and a happy ending. STARTING AGAIN was set among the green Gippsland lakes of eastern Victoria. A WHIRLWIND ROMANCE and NANNY WANTED were set in Melbourne, my home State's capital city. OCEAN BLUE is set on a fictional island in Australia's national jewel, the Great Barrier Reef.

 [Both of these views were taken in the region where I live.
Top: Looking across to the Grampians mountains
Bottom: view from Mount Arapiles, a rock climbing destination for enthusiasts]

My most recent novels, LOVING LUCY by Avalon Books and WOMBAT CREEK, a My Weekly Pocket Novel, were respectively set in my country Victoria hometown and in the lush pastoral sheep grazing country of the Western District south of where I live near the wool town of Hamilton.

My future Pocket Novel romance projects will be a series of trilogies set in a former gold mining village in the hilly north east of Victoria around Beechworth, along Australia's magical coastline, and in the outback highlighting the "big three" in Australia: sheep, wheat and cattle, set in South Australia, the West and Queensland to feature them.

 [Typical view of outback Australia. Gorgeous huh?]

As a reader, I love settings of both cosy and exotic places. So, vicariously, I have been to Asia, England, Malta and Venice ... you get the idea. If a novel blurb mentions the setting - as it should - that alone may enthuse me to dip into the story and see what I can learn and where I can go. I also adore reading historical novels and soaking up another era; always a fascinating journey.

I would love to hear about your favourite or most memorable place.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


I was interviewed recently on the Romance Writers of Australia blog. Check it out...