Outback Writer

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dolphin slaughter

Again Face Book have been on the campaign trail. This time for the slaughter of dolphins. I hope it works and the appalling slaughter is stopped.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014


Thanks to the campaign by Face Book I will never buy an angora jumper again. Nor will I have any of my characters in my novels wearing angora, although I have in the past. The Face Book campaign educated me about the cruel way angora is produced. Previous I had thought it was a fluffy kind of wool.

Congratulations Face Book.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Liam's Story

Publishers are supposed to be the gatekeepers. That should mean being responsible. So why do they let excellent writers fall of the radar and trashy writers get to the top. Money of course.

Anne Victoria Roberts is a victim of this lack of responsibility. Her novel Louisa Elliot and its sequel Liam's Story are well written with strong characters, atmospheric locations and compelling plots.

Fortunately they are both being published on Kindle. I lost my copy of Louisa Elliot, but have got the hardback of Liam's Story and read it about once every two years. It never fails to move me.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Maria Callas

Was it really 50 years ago that the iconic Tosca with Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi was staged?

It was unsurpassed. It was so legendary that our drama teacher at opera school played us the video so we could understand what it mean to sing and act. The video was seared into my soul, and this is the result.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


If Eleanor could go back 24 years and change things she'd wish away her children.

Keith's quest to solve a family mystery leads to tragedy.

US & UK links

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Crime Novel

Suspicion Points is on Special Offer to UK readers until tomorrow - Sunday.

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 family?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Face Book

Is it superficial?


It enables friends and family who are far apart in miles to keep in touch.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Banking fraud

When £800 was stolen from our bank account, we decided to move move of our money to a building society where we could have a pass book. The only way money could be taken out was for us to go to the building society with our pass book.

We have now been told that pass books are being phased out because they are old fashioned and expensive.

Expensive? So it's more expensive to have a pass book that can't be hacked into than to have money stolen from accounts - that then have to be put back into the account by the banks? Very logical.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review for Vissi d'arte

An extremely well written and expertly crafted novel, filled with mystery and tension. Descriptions are really well done, and paint perfect pictures of what's going on. The dialogue feels so real and is filled with hidden meaning. In some ways, what goes unsaid is louder than what is said. Tension is stretched by the dripping of information, little be little. At the end of each section, I want to read on and find out what new developments the story has in store. I can see readers devouring the book in a desperate attempt to have their questions answered.

Kindle links :


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sexual assult trials

The sexual assault trials of famous people taking place now are frightening. One woman said that she did not come forward earlier because William Roache was famous. What has changed? He's still famous. The accusations against Rolf Harris are bizarre.

All this reminds me of when I was a five year old. My mother was in hospital and my father was in the army. His barracks were opposite my school. I was used to visiting them, but on this occasion I got lost. After wandering down empty corridors I was getting frightened. I found myself in a room where a soldier was reading a file. He saw me and asked what I was doing.
'I'm looking for my daddy,' I replied.
'What your daddy's name?'
Probably realising I was upset, he searched through my school bag till he found a book with my name on it. He took hold of my hand and took me to the tying pool while my father was located.
In today's malicious wold he probably would have run from the room when he saw me, and denied having ever seen a little girl in a school uniform.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Forced out of Business

For ten years our family have bought herbal remedies from Frank Roberts a  mail order herbal dispensary. My husband suffered from hay fever. Hours after taking their tablets he could feel the relief. Within a few days he was cured. Even better was that the next year his hay fever did not return.

Now this excellent and ethical firm have been forced out of business. They have 30 licenced products. The change in the Traditional Herbal Registration meant that it would have cost them £300,000, an impossible amount for a small company.

They are devastated, and so are we. I'm sure all of their regular customers feel the same.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Don Giovanni

 Max is handsome, has a superb tenor voice and is married. Like the character in the opera, he is a philanderer and when he gets to opera school he is determined to seduce as many girls as he can. Naturally he keeps the fact that he is married a secret.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Appearances can be deceptive

Natasha is skinny and has bad acne. Nicholas doubts that she will be able to sing one line, let alone a whole aria. Her brilliant voice as she sings Vissi d'arte stuns him. Will he be able to turn her into a diva?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Time to Build an Ark?

The Thames has burst its banks. Parts of the UK have become an island. Homes, shops and pubs are flooded. People have drowned.

All this misery puts things in perspective. Our internet connection went down for two days. If that is the only thing that happens to us, we will be very fortunate.

All this gives me a good reason to stay home and write my next book, which is not about the destructive force of nature, but about the destructive force of jealously.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

War Horse

We'd had the DVD of War Horse for months, but it's only today that I plucked up the courage to watch it. If I'd watched in in the cinema I'd have made a spectacle of myself with all my gasping and moaning, but I guess many others would have been gasping and moaning too.

It was an excellent film, full of humanity and realistic characters.

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