About the book
When Grace Went Away is set in the fictional town of Miners Ridge in mid-north South Australia. It’s about a farming family fractured by tragedy. Grace, the eldest sibling tries hard to keep the family in touch, but then her work takes her to London. In the absence of Grace can the family find a way to heal? And who’ll have the courage to make the first move?
How does it feel to hold my book in my hands?
Wonderful! And kind of surreal. When I open to the first page, and read, there’s always a sentence that I think I could have worded better! Perhaps it’s like that for every author. I’ll admit, that since I’ve been writing it has changed the way I read just about everything. It’s on a continuum: in my head I’m either editing the author’s work, or acknowledging how talented they are and wishing I was half as clever.
What’s some great advice I’ve received that has helped me as a writer?
Written on a scrap piece of orange paper and clipped to the filing cabinet beside my desk are Stephen King’s 8 tips for writers. The two tips that always spur me on are: write one word at a time, and, write for the joy of it.
Who are my favourite authors?
There are some fabulous Australian crime writers, and I do enjoy a clever crime! Peter Temple would be at the top of my list, followed closely by Garry Disher, Jane Harper and Candice Fox. Alan Carter’s Marlborough Man, and his Cato Kwong series are not to be missed. The list goes on …
My most favourite book of all is MM Kaye’s Trade Wind. I first read it many years ago, and when I want to treat myself, I reread it. I’m never disappointed.
My daily writing routine and what I’m working on now
I could say I’m at my desk by 8.30 am, Monday to Friday. I do two thousand words by lunchtime and then pack up for the day… But I would be fibbing. Needless to say I haven’t nailed the perfect writing routine yet, no matter how hard I try. Some days are better than others, but there’s always plenty of room for improvement. Distractions abound.
Right now I’m working on book number six, with a working title All About Ella. This time I’ve taken the characters to the seaside, to a fictional town on the Yorke Peninsula. I love the layers and complexities of small rural communities. My heart is in the country, and always will be.