Heather Garside tagged me to answer these questions about my writing process – so here they are!
Q1 – What am I working on?
1. High Country Secrets is set in the Monaro. Strong, grazing country, bald smooth hills and in the distance, the craggy outlines of the Snowy Mountain Range. There must be something in the air of the Monaro. The animals have constitution and the people are tough and resilient.
Jessie is from an old grazing family. Michael d’Larghi is an entrepreneur- into farming and transport and various family businesses. His grandfather came out from Italy in the fifties to work on the Snowy Hydro Scheme.
Jessie returns home to introduce her new fiancé, Alan, to the family. But the first person she meets is Michael, who she remembers from primary school days…..
There is an open feel to the high country – like you’re standing on top of the world. Jessie and Michael just have to reach out and grab what they want. But secrets from the past are crowding in. Everyone these days has baggage – but how much can you take?
Q2 – How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I live in regional New South Wales, in the south. That is quite different from Queensland or the outback. Goulburn is as different to Roma as the west of Scotland is to Bath.
No matter where they come from, country people share an understated calm and strength, a trust in each other, a practical outlook. Whether this comes from handling animals or the effect of the peaceful landscape on you, I don’t know. I do know I enjoy the feeling of space and not the crush of people around you. I felt a need to write about the country and the people I have come to love and know. So part of the difference is the area I write about. The other difference is experience – forty years in trucking and farming. This experience means my perspective is different than others writing in the same genre.
q3 – Why do I write what I write
I don’t know why I write what I write. It just pours out and I have very little say in it really. I am continually surprised by what I write. Sometimes my characters just take off and I go along for the ride. I find that is the secret. Once your characters are up and running they dictate what happens next.
Q4 – How does my writing process work?
A writing process is not exactly the phrase I would use to describe how I write. Noise. I like the television blaring. I can write with telephone conversations going on around me and mayhem. Possibly my editor would say that explains a lot. But I’ve always been a multi-tasker.
Writing also takes you to places you’ve never been to before. So you just have to trust in the magic carpet and go along for the ride. I’m a pantser, so my ride is more rocky than most.