Category Archives: Writing Update

Coastal Escape

coast1I had a very mini-coastal escape on the weekend. I drove down to a local beach. It seemed effective though, because on Monday I finished the-story-that-would-not-end and sent it off to my crit partner with the message “please, don’t hurry to return it!”  The story is fabulous, but getting the emotional development right in under 12,000 words was a challenge.

Joyously, that means I can finally focus on my Kimberley novel. I’ve been turning over ideas for this story for a couple of months, and this time has actually allowed a useful evolution in my thinking. The plot is stronger for it.

DSC02831I’ve never actually been to the Kimberley (I’m such a bad traveller) so this photo to your right is a cheat — it’s from my southern beach, but still beautiful. If you’re curious about the beauty of the Kimberley coast, Kimberley Stock Photos has an incredible collection of images.

I’m energised at starting a new project. On Tuesday I bought maps to plot the location of my fictional outback homestead. For a reluctant traveller, I’m oddly fascinated by maps. So many possibilities, maybe?

It was funny walking through the crowded shopping mall with my maps. The characters I’ve been thinking about for two months now were very nearly as real to me as the chaos around me. Oops! Eccentric author moment :)

I’m not sure how this novel will develop. I don’t want to lose my momentum by talking about it too much. I need to WRITE it instead. But expect a splash of history, a dash of gothic romance and a strong contemporary romance.


New Book! Kiss It Better

Clutching a signed copy of the contract for Kiss It Better, I can finally announce that my third Jardin Bay book will be out late this year (after Hero Duty on 1 June).

Kiss It Better - coming soon

When Cassie Freedom’s dream of nursing in Africa shatters, Jardin Bay welcomes her home to its familiar security. But Dr Theo Morrigan is about to change everything. Theo’s had to leave his medical practice to take over the family business, and now he’s thinking of a more personal takeover; that is, until his own life is rocked by revelation of an old secret and suddenly the man who needed no one, needs a broken-hearted nurse.


“Hero Duty” Release Update

Hero Duty releases 1 June from Escape Publishing.


The edits are complete. Thanks, Lauren McKellar, for improving the story and, as with all my editors — I’ve been so lucky — honing my writing style.

I can’t wait to see the cover. Unlike many authors, I don’t use actors as inspiration, so I don’t even know who I’d cast to play Brodie and Jessica. For Brodie, the actor would have to convey power under complete control. A man of few words, but those he says, he means. And for Jessica, an actress who is smart, whose inner strength shines through, who is beautiful and haunted. One cover to communicate all this, and the drama of the Australian coastal setting. What a challenge!blurb

Hero Duty is a book that completely absorbed me, well before I started writing it. I remember boring a friend silly outlining it over lunch — she’s a very good friend and I don’t normally do this, so she was enthusiastic and helpful. Maybe we both fell a bit in love with Brodie?

The story is simply one that reminds me to hold on to hope. Jessica has so much, and yet she is scared and lonely. Brodie is an ex-soldier, a man of honour, who has to build a new life. They need each other for the courage and joy they bring each other. That’s the power of love.


Is that...could it be...a super-long post?

Is that…could it be…a super-long post?

No one warns a new author (or maybe they do and I wasn’t listening), but one of the character traits that you have to cultivate if you’re to survive without ulcers is patience.

Now, me, I’ve always suspected that I like writing so much because I’m a control freak (reformed, but always relapsing) and writing enables me to create entire universes where I’m Empress of All I Imagine. That is very satisfying for a control freak — until characters insist on doing their own thing!

But to be a published author means working to other people’s timeframes, be they editors, readers, reviewers, publishers, book sellers, etc — and these people can’t be hurried. You have to WAIT and what makes it worse, is the outcome is not guaranteed. They may hate your work.

Other times — and this is almost as hard — you have good news but can’t yet share it. This is where I’m at now. It definitely beats receiving a rejection slip, but I want to jump up and down and celebrate with you. Soon!

This is a super-long post — testing your patience! — but I’m doing a general and self-indulgent catch up. There’s still another month of summer, officially. Unofficially, who knows how long it’ll last. My brain turns to scrambled egg in the heat, so that’s no good for my writing schedule.  Sometimes patience has to be self-directed and I have to learn not to beat myself up for what I can’t control.

I’m not sure if I’ve mention that I post almost daily at my Book Likes blog. That is not a hint to go over and read it! I’m reflecting on the fact that I really am a daily blogger. I stopped daily blogging here because often my posts were/are really flimsy. But over at Book Likes, which has a Tumblr-esque style, that works.

Patience is perhaps as much a case of finding interesting and useful things to distract you as it is a character trait. Fortunately, when you’re an author, almost anything can be the raw material for a story. Here’s a swamp monster :) Google+ is great for that sort of distraction…uh, research.

Bunyip (1935)

A Bunyip — just because

Preparing for 2014


This little honeyeater has my sympathy. That’s exactly how I feel about already facing 2014. Where’d 2013 go?

Actually 2013 was busy. Everyone seems to feel the same. So much happened, so many changes — changes that were mostly about squashing more into our lives. I feel like I need to take a deep breath before I plunge into a new year.

But who has time to breathe?

I want to write a series of romances set in my fictional North Carolina coastal town of Fathomsfy. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks researching the setting (beautiful) and letting the characters evolve in my mind. I have a trio of siblings and they’ve surprised me by insisting on bringing some mystery to their romances. So 2014 may be my year for a foray into writing romantic suspense.

Before I begin, however, I’m been ambushed by a Christmas story set in my Australian coastal town of Jardin Bay — have you noticed how much I enjoy creating communities? Best fun! At first I thought I could write Sami’s romance after spending some time with my Fathomsfy characters, but as I thought through the story I realised that it would have to culminate in an Aussie Christmas. The demands of publishing schedules being what they are, that means I have to get “Home to Stay” written NOW if I’m to have a chance of releasing it for Christmas 2014.

See what I mean about no time to breathe?

Are you thinking of 2014? Do you have any plans?


Signing up to Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sorry to be annoying with this post, but I’m registering with Bloglovin and this is part of the process. Thought I’d also share a silly card I made last week after a visit to the beach. Well, I figure if I’m annoying you anyway…