Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Tasmania and came to Melbourne at the age of 18, just for a visit. Most Tasmanians used to call it the ‘Big Smoke’. That very title spoke to me as a place of intrigue and excitement. I was off. I came to like Melbourne very much, secured a job and stayed.
What draws you to writing?
Like a lot of authors (I assume) I love writing and have done it since secondary school where I received high distinctions for my essays. Added to that I find it easier to write things down than say them (if that makes sense).
So tell us about your book?
My first book is about something terrible that happened to an ordinary hard-working family.
It begins at a time when people didn’t necessary lock their doors and children played all day until they were called for tea. No one worried about where they were. It was a different time then. The story progresses to the 1990s.
Where did the idea come from?
It simply came into my mind as a what if?
How did it happen, why did it happen and what would be the consequences?
What’s the story you’re trying to tell?
How family support each other. How friends gather around those they love. Why some family members hold grudges. It’s also about resilience and justice.
And what do you hope your readers draw from your writing?
A reader wrote back to me recently and spoke about how they felt about my book.
They said they really enjoyed it. ‘The twists were unexpected’, and the story ‘tugged there heart strings on several occasions’ and made them cry.
That is exactly what I hoped my story would bring to readers.
What’s your writing process?
Firstly, when I have settled on some of the plot (it evolves along the way) I make notes about the characters. Things like their age, where they come from, what are their relationships with each other. I settle on names during that process as well.
Tell us one thing about your book, or your writing process, that nobody else knows.
Sometimes I become frustrated. It doesn’t always flow for me. I need to take a walk and clear my mind. I can also spend a lot of time on research which is very time consuming when really. I just want to get on with it.
What are you working on next?
‘A Body in the Lane’, which is a spinoff from my first book, The Taroona Incident. A few characters make a reappearance but it is a completely different story.
When readers talk about you as an author, what do you hope they’re saying?
I hope they say I tell a good yarn, they enjoyed it, the characters and settings were well described and they were surprised by the ending.
Any advice for other writers?
I’m not sure I’m that practiced at writing to advise.
However, I do think you should have an idea of what you want to say. Make notes first and get to know your characters before you begin. Don’t be afraid to change direction if it’s not working. Be prepared for some frustration at times. It’s not always easy.
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