Outback Writer

Monday, September 30, 2013

Reviews that delight me.

Reviews like this make me feel that I've succeeded as a writer.

In my experience there is nothing more dramatic than family life and the plot of Eumeralla reflects this with spot on psychological accuracy. I cannot say more without being a plot spoiler, but expect to be surprised. Like other reviewers I took a bit of time to sort out the characters, but once I'd got this clear everything fell into place. I would say that one of the main themes is the failure of adults to realise that children grow up into real people, with inconveniently passionate emotions and the ability to ask awkward questions. Plus the unpredictability of falling in love.

I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about life in the Australian outback thirty years ago. This included descriptions of the beauty of the land plus background conservation issues, problems with water and sanitation (the flushing toilet sub plot is surprisingly effective) and useful information about spiders and snakes. The snake avoidance tips could be very helpful. Although I hope I won't need them in London. As yet.

The author shows how the physical isolation of the characters intensifies their emotions. Thirty years ago there was no chance of escape via computers, world wide networking or texting. And everyone has to work together to keep the farm going and the animals and themselves fed. Love is felt more deeply, but so is estrangement and hatred.

At the end of the book I was left with a single question. What happened next??


It's comments like this that make me start writing the sequel.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I've written the novel. But I'm stuck on the title. I can't think of a better one than The Long List.

Here is the blurb.

An arson attack on a house in Cornwall kills a toddler and his father.

Bridget is a young woman with a lot of enemies. Many people have strong reasons for wanting her dead. But was she the intended victim of the fire that killed her husband and baby son? Inspector Sharon Richardson thinks she was. Robert Trevellyan, her sergeant, disagrees. Their methods are very different and bring them into serious conflict with each other. The list of suspects is long. Time is running out. Having failed to kill Bridget, will the killer try again?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Here is a review of my crime novel. It made me very happy.

Wow what a book.this author is absolutely brilliant.when I put this book down.I. couldn't wait to pick it up. Definitely recommend this author. 10/10

Here are the Kindle links for the UK & US

It's also in paperback.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sequel & Prequel

When I began writing the sequel to Eumeralla the idea of writing a prequel sprang into my mind. The ancestors of the Clarkson family in Eumeralla had stolen a lot of jewels from their employers and escaped to Australia, which is why the Carksons were so wealthy.

Writing about why they stole the jewels and how they got away with it appealed to me. Plots and characters always present themselves to me - I rarely invent a plot or a character. But whenever the storyline came into my mind it was always in the first person, which annoyed me because I wanted to write it in the third person.

Suddenly it came to me. Fiona, a character in Eumeralla, had told someone that her ancestors had written a journal. Then I had it. Write the prequel as part of the sequel.

Here is an extract from Eumeralla where the journals are mentioned.

Tom leant on his shovel. “How come your family were so much richer than ours? Were they squatters?”
    “No.” She grinned. “The first Australian Clarksons were crooks.”
“Convicts?  Really?”
She scooped up a pile of dung and put it in the barrow. “Crooks not convicts.”
“What’s the difference?”
“They were crooks, but didn’t get caught. He was a coach driver for a family who had country estates in Sussex and Scotland and a house in London. He was in cahoots with a maid. They planned it for ages, and practised their employer’s la-di-da accent till they got it right. When the family went out one night she stole lots of jewellery, money and clothes. She wore the clothes, pawned the jewellery and they came to Australia. When they got here they bought the land and built the house with the money.”
Tom looked shocked.
“What’s the matter with you?” she asked. “They didn’t kill anyone. The Victorian aristocracy paid their servants paltry wages and made them work long hours, while they lazed around all day. If  the master of the house got a maid pregnant she was thrown out without a reference and became a prostitute or went to the workhouse. And they had the gall to preach morality. Pah! If my ancestors were thieves they earned every penny they stole.”
“Don’t get mad at me, Sis,” he said with a laugh. “None of my ancestors were toffs.”
She smiled. “Sorry.”
“Is that how they could afford servants?”
“I suppose so. I went to see the places they lived when I was in England. It gave me a weird feeling to stand in front of the London house. It was not far from Buckingham Palace.”
“How come you knew the address?”
“Family history. They wrote it all down.”
“Wasn’t it dangerous to brag about what they did?”
“They didn’t tell anyone. Our grandfather found their ... confession I guess you’d call it ... when he was sorting through some trunks when he was young. It was addressed to the descendants of Ellen and James Clarkson. They hid their tracks well – Clarkson wasn’t their real name.”
“What was it?”
“They didn’t say. But they wrote in graphic detail about their working conditions and their callous employers and why they did what they did.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm doing something I said I never would. So many readers have said that I must write a sequel to my novel Eumeralla. A few months ago I decided to write an epilogue for the Kindle version. Halfway throught writing it I suddenly thought, But what if it didn't happen that way? And my mind took off like a rocket.

I've now written 46,000 words of the sequel and hope to have the first draft finished by Christmas.

A few strange things have happened while writing the sequel, but I'll relate them in my next blog.