Award winning author

Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.

My travels

International Authordom

Authordom could describe authors, agents and editors from all over the world discussing the state of publishing.

Authordom could describe authors, agents and editors from all over the world discussing the state of publishing.

Ok –authordom isn’t a real word, but bear with me. I think it should be.

According to the Oxford dictionary, dom is a suffix which denotes a state or condition (freedom); rank or status (earldom); a domain (kingdom) or a class of people (officialdom).

That’s us – isn’t it? Continue reading

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Romance by the sea

The view from my balcony at the hotel

The view from my balcony at the hotel

A balcony, a sunset, a sea view and a glass of wine – no, not a romantic weekend away (I wish) – it was the 25th Annual Romance Writers of Australia conference. This had the theme Ain’t Love Grand, and was held in the lovely city of Adelaide.

This is the second time I have travelled down under for this conference… and what a great time I’ve had both times. These are my tribe – like minded readers and writers, most of whom have the same accent I have.

There were some great speakers (I will share some of that with you in the next week or two when I recover) … some fun social events… and many books, of course. Continue reading

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Art on the streets

This was the first mural I saw - a striking portrait of an indigenous child

This was the first mural I saw – a striking portrait of an indigenous child

Graffiti isn’t what it used to be – well not in my old home town at least.

I was totally entranced last week revisiting the streets and alleys I knew when I was a teenager, and seeing how they have been transformed into an amazing outdoor art gallery.

A couple of years ago, someone came up with this great idea for dealing with the graffiti that was costing the council tens of thousands of dollars a year to clean up.

Rather than arrest the graffiti artists, they encouraged them… with unexpected results. Continue reading

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The things you forget

The Sydney Harbour Bridge at night - you never forget something this beautiful

The Sydney Harbour Bridge at night – you never forget something this beautiful

I am back in Australia this week, and discovered that had forgotten the stars, and potato scallops and bush lemons.

Travelling is great. I get to experience new people and places and cultures. New sights and sounds and tastes. But there is something about the place where you grew up that never leaves you.

You don’t forget the big things. People and places that were important or spectacular. It’s the little things you lose. I don’t think you forget, I think they just fall through the cracks in our busy minds.

So here are a few of the little things I have rediscovered since hopping off the plane. Continue reading

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Almost a teenager

Final tweaks and corrections before it went out into the big wide world.

Final tweaks and corrections before it went out into the big wide world.

As Britney Spears once sang…. Oops, I did it again.

I have set another book loose into the world. Well … almost.

I hit the send button this week on what will be my ninth published book. Assuming of course that my publisher likes it. I think she will – I cried as I wrote the last scene, and that’s always a good sign.

It’s also kinda cool that in the same 24 hour period, a couple of my writer friends did the same thing too – hit the send button. It’s not an easy thing to do… to let your baby go. Continue reading

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A Bentley in Maseru

The hotel sent this lovely old Bentley to pick me up at the airport. It would have been lovely to learn more of its history... starting with how it came to be in such a remote part of Africa.

The hotel sent this lovely old Bentley to pick me up at the airport. It would have been great to learn more of its history… starting with how it came to be in such a remote part of Africa.

I get about a bit. As regular readers will know, my day job takes me to some pretty interesting places… and none more interesting than Maseru.

I confess, when asked to go there, I had to look it up. I always find out a bit about any country I visit before I go. But this was the first time I really knew nothing to begin with.

Google had this to say – Maseru is the capital of the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, small independent country totally enclosed within South Africa. It’s a poor nation. About 40% of the population live below the international poverty line. They make less than $1.25 US per day.

But that bland description was very very different to the place I found when I stepped off the plane. Continue reading

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Storm troopers and stories

The two Skelligs rising out of the sea mist.

The two Skelligs rising out of the sea mist.

My visit to the Aran islands (see last week’s blog) was all about knitting, but there were two more island groups I had to see while I was in Ireland. This time it was all about language and literature and puffins with light sabres. Both islands are uninhabited, but both have stories to tell.

It started with the Skelligs – two tiny islands off the ring of Kerry, which are also in a galaxy far far away. Lacking any sort of space ship, my view of Great Skellig Island was from a headland on the mainland.

Continue reading

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Knitting without the sheep

Any knitter who goes to Ireland knows what is waiting for them… Aran sweaters, Aran scarves, Aran blankets. Aran knitting of all shapes and sizes and colours.

It is probably no surprise therefore that while on my Irish holiday, I found my way to the Aran islands– and I was immediately struck by two things.

First, the islands are flat and bare and barren looking. Secondly, and of more interest to the knitter in me, there are no sheep on the islands.

Not a one.

This was as hilly as it got. The people of the village must face some awful weather when those Atlantic gales blow in.

This was as hilly as it got. The people of the village must face some awful weather when those Atlantic gales blow in.

Continue reading

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Faces in the stone

Looking through the window of a ruined castle toward a nearby church - also in ruins. My imagination was running wild.

Looking through the window of a ruined castle toward a nearby church – also in ruins. My imagination was running wild.

As regular readers will know – I am a big fan of ruins. Give me a crumbling castle to explore, or an abandoned abbey, and I’m set for hours of enjoyment.

I love the history of such places and like to wonder about the people who lived there.

What I normally don’t expect is to see their faces looking back at me from the stone. Continue reading

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The Wild Atlantic Way

The Connemara section of the drive was full of wonderful bays and inlets - and many grey ponies.

The Connemara section of the drive was full of wonderful bays and inlets – and many grey ponies.

When I first heard of the Wild Atlantic Way – the very name sounded exciting. So I googled it, and then last week I drove along it. Or at least, a small part of the southern section of it.

The Wild Atlantic Ways refers to the roads that run up the west coast of Ireland – where the Atlantic Ocean meets land for the first time in some 2,000 miles. I had visions of huge waves crashing against rocks, and gales blowing wildly.

I am sure that happens. But for my visit, the sun shone and the waves crashed gently against the rocks.

But that’s not to say the trip was disappointing – in fact, it was far from it. Continue reading

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Writing retreats 2020 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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