Ric and I started our married life in Western Australia. I remember walking out at the end of the day to meet him, as he drove back in the tractor – an old Chamberlain with a bench seat. We would look out over the sand hills as the sun set into the sea. It was very beautiful. The cards changed so we moved back to NSW, had a lot of children, raised a lot of sheep, bought a lot of sheep – occasionally some cattle, very occasionally. Ric didn’t like cattle so much. We grew crops of oats and wheat and canola. And we had one truck, then two trucks, then three. Richard has trucked sheep and cattle over five million miles over the years and I’ve travelled many with him, particularly in the latter times – I pick all the good trips. It’s a beautiful, rugged country full of fascinating people.
I’m a city girl who married a farmer. It’s well known that city girls make the best country wives. Largely because we have absolutely no idea what techniques/methods our husbands are using so never argue. Imagine marrying a man who drenched the sheep starting from one end of the race, when your Dad always started from the other end?
Besides that we’re very keen – the first thing I learnt was how to ride a motor bike. Then I was mustering sheep. Then I learnt to drive the tractor and soon I was dragging the scarifier behind it. I have learnt to be a little more selective about what I learn or don’t learn now.
I love our sheep to distraction. Six years ago we restarted our Billigaboo Corriedale stud. We now have over two hundred stud sheep. In April we take twelve of the best to the Sydney Royal.
Apart from the family, the sheep and some amazing grandchildren, writing has taken over my life. It is the most incredible feeling to suddenly be in someone else’s world. I share it with Ric. He gets out of the truck at night and has to put up with hearing how Jessie and Michael are getting on – or not as the case may be. Walking and gardening give me time to think and ponder and after an hour or two I can usually see my way through a problem.
I started writing after the kids left home. Suddenly I was writing a book – A Dream of Something More, which was published in 2009. Looking back, I am astonished at how painlessly this occurred. I had a daughter in the publishing business who asked a friend to read it, who asked a friend…. Voila. I think most authors could kill me for this. But then I had to go to work and work hard to get the next one up. I received a grant from the Veolia Mulwaree Trust in Goulburn which helped me get a manuscript edited and attend the Romance Writers of Australia Conference. Both have been invaluable.
So five years later my next book High Country Secrets is published as an ebook with Momentum.