Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A Pocket of Pebbles

I've made a collection of my short stories available on Amazon.

These are short stories (less than 3000 words) written between 2008 and 2014 for the Romance Writers of Australia short story contest, Little Gems.

Each year there was a different gemstone for the theme. Stories had to be a romance and suitable for all.

This is a representation of my writing development, although I'm not sure what that shows. In 2009, I had no real idea of what a romance was, so I wrote three stories. One is rather awful...a tasteless choice of situation...but I included it anyway.

I didn't edit the stories and change my style, I only polished typos. I thought the style was part of the development.

Anyway, I've popped them up if you'd like to have a look. So far I've only popped them onto Amazon, but I will get formatting it for the other sites too.

Hope you might enjoy them.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Long Game - behind the scenes - Part 1

Long Game, my next book, comes out 20 February 2018, which seems a long time away but with Christmas in the middle, it will no doubt go quickly. Until then, I thought I'd tell you a bit of the 'behind the scenes' story.

Country Towns and Sport
I moved to Wagga Wagga after I finished uni, in my 20s. Wagga Wagga was the home of many many great sporting people, including Peter Sterling who was my favourite Rugby League player.

Back then, Wagga Wagga was like a big country town (I reckon it's like a city now!) and I was thrilled to be moving to such a sporty place. And sport was everywhere; I wasn't disappointed. It was a bit of an eye-opener because even though Wagga is in NSW, Aussie Rules was very popular. As popular as Rugby and Rugby League. And this was a new experience for me. I'd grown up where Rugby League was most popular. Rugby next, followed by Aussie Rules and Soccer.

I'd watched AFL in Sydney, live and on TV, so that wasn't new. It was the popularity that surprised me. Wagga Wagga itself had a couple of teams, surrounding towns and localities had teams. And the passionate supporters of these teams were as parochial as any supporters of first grade in Sydney.

When some towns' teams became short of numbers as the town/locality shrank in size, groupings happened and two or more towns would band together to field the team. I loved this. One of my favourite amalgamated team names was Ganmain Grong Grong Matong (GGGM). These three towns were along the way when driving between Narrandera and Coolamon, a lovely trip I often did.

When I was asked to write Long Game, I knew I wanted to write about a country girl moving to the city to play. I began thinking about where she might have come from...and GGGM popped right into my head. But rather than use all three towns, I decided that Grong Grong would have their own team. If you'd like some info on Grong Grong, try this website.

Cress would grow up in Grong Grong, just out of town on a farm. She'd be full of country exuberance for sport. She wouldn't care how far she had to travel to play a game, she'd be there. She'd juggle work, life and play around sport. She'd be good, really good. So I gave her a bunch of brothers who'd make her tough. She'd compete with her older brothers in the paddocks at home, where she'd learn her skills and learn to be tough.

Sport is such an important part of the fabric of many country towns. I wanted to show this in the story. So Cress spends most of the time in Sydney, but she comes home to Grong Grong, where she can fit back into farming and town life, without the trappings of Sydney superstardom.

Country towns seem to level everyone. If you grew up somewhere, when you go back, you're just that kid no matter how big you make it in the wider world. It's the down-to-earth quality I love about the country.

So, that's some of background behind Long Game. If you read it, I hope you'll enjoy it.

PS. If you're from Grong Grong and I got anything wrong - a million apologies. I tried my best to remember things.


My Recently Read List

  • Eliza Henry-Jones - Ache
  • Catherine McKinnon - Storyland
  • Sarah J Maas - A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • Anne Gracie - Marry In Haste
  • Emily Larkin - all her books
  • Sarah Schmidt - See What I Have Done
  • Lisa Ireland - The Shape of Us