For the first time in ten days I bought a newspaper. That was a mistake. Then I made a bigger mistake. I switched on the TV — and to an Australian news service. There I saw film of two oafs — Abbott and Dutton — standing before God knows how many of our silly imperial flags and devoutly singing the national anthem as they launched a group pf Blackshirts who had sworn, apparently, a kind of oath of fealty to their uniform.
This film was being shown because that day these blackshirted clowns had already revealed themselves as serious Keystone Cops by threatening to arrest the City of Melbourne. The road from Katherine to Kakadu is not of much interest. There is a further roadhouse at Mount Mary, but I would not advise staying at any of these places, like Halls Creek, Timber Creek, or Victoria River, except in emergency.
The services are better in the bigger towns, and in some of these places, it is the white people who look scratchy. The Mount Mary roadhouse featured a large set of photos of ugly looking snakes. I bought a black long-sleeved T with a croc on it. It should be well received when the bikies are in town. This Mount Mary is very different to the home of those distinguished Victorian reds. The whole road from there into Jabiluka is burnt out.
At one time, I drove through heavy smoke, and in clear sight of an unattended blaze. That can be unsettling to survivors of Black Saturday in Victoria. Cooinda Lodge is about 50 ks south of the main tourist centre of Jabiluka. It is very modern and swish. It is light years away from my accommodation for the previous Saturday, the famous Bungles Caravan Park, and I planned to savour the difference after an easy three hour drive, starting with a slap-up lunch.
It is only about ks to Darwin from here, and I was checked in early, by a young French man and American woman, while a Russian maid called Emily finished servicing my room or cabin.
There is a cosmopolitan feeling all along the route, but one thing that you notice in the Kimberley is the genuine pride of the locals in what they have to offer. You get it all the time, and I did not feel it as much in Kakadu. One thing I noticed immediately about my room — or suite — at Cooinda — beautifully built as it was and opened by Clyde Holding — is that it does not have a welcome book showing the services of the establishment, a phone, a writing desk, or even a chair inside — they are all outside, on your own portico, but not so easy to put inside.
Nor does the Lodge offer wifi. The Pine Tree Lodge offered all this and more — at about one third of the cost. Even the humble Derby Lodge Motel had a phone and wifi. The upshot is that I am for the first time out of touch on-line — and in the dearest place. We are I fear in rip-off territory. The lunch was mostly self-serve and not air-conditioned.
The restaurant was said to be closed for a private function — for the whole of my stay, as I would discover. The couple beside me had to clear their own table. I had seen enough to cancel the third night. I am very much in favour of the Scottish — it may be British — system of accredited ratings to tourist accommodation, where you have to offer certain facilities to get so many stars.
Since tourism is a real part of our economy, this is a matter of national interest. I am wondering if the Territory does as good a job as W A. Nor do I think that we as a nation have any interest in offering up products to people from our major trading partners that make us look like Hicks — or crooks. You do not need a Harvard MBA to know that in hospitality, first impressions count. If a relationship starts badly, because something obvious is missing, it may never recover. Some people have no sense of business at all. I was reminded of a Shell servo meters off the highway as you come into Kununurra from the west.
It is invisible from the highway, but it has a car-wash that I later heard of by accident. While I was getting change for the car-wash from the nice Asian man at the counter, a wizened local was giving him a razz about his boss. It looked to me like she lets a large part of the population of Australia just cruise by without even knowing that she is there.
Well, what man has left out, God might put together. I had been there before, so from now on I was on ground that was not new. They say that you can get a swim up there. I had previously gone up to the aboriginal settlement at Oenpelli where all grog is banned, and I had seen a footy match where the blackfellas were running around in bare feet kicking goals from all angles, while some white boys waddled round to make up the numbers. The one thing that tourists should do here is to take a fixed wing flight to get a view of the escarpment, and a sense of what Arnhem Land is like.
It is as if you are seeing it as God made it.
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The aerial view of the crocs in the Gulph is, for the want of a better word, impressive. The lodge redeemed itself a little at dinner when it offered a lamb shank. The shank was on the bar before the drink I ordered — which was a shiraz from a chilled bottle into a chilled glass, poured by a young woman from Melbourne to go with a shank ordered from a young man from Indiana. We had quite a chat about Lincoln. It was not until the next night that I learned that I could get a red unchilled, and a full bottle of it — after I had been unable to buy a bottle in Jabiluka — and there is not much more reason to go in there.
It was not nearly as good as the breakfast at Pine Tree Motel, which served the best bacon I have eaten in Australia. After I revisited some sites, I took a pleasant buffet lunch. When I asked the man at the bar the temperature, he consulted his iphone. He said he was on Telstra and that they had their own signal station. I then got reception to fix mine — something about data usage — and I was back in touch. This is the kind of thing that should be dealt with in the introduction book, but I did notice then that they had a sign apologising for not having wifi.
And I found out that at this location they were not offering half hour flights — that is a shame, because you can see a lot in 30 minutes, and I doubt whether the extra expense is worth it. While out, I picked up two backpackers from France, Toulouse and Lyon. I was a little surprised that they did not know what had happened to Lyon during the Terror, or the identity of the man responsible.
There was a very scenic billabong with a jetty at the end of the path outside my cabin. It is sternly guarded with warnings, this time in at least some other languages, about the capacity of salt-water crocs to kill people. The nice young French man at reception told me that they used to fish off that jetty, but had lost some enthusiasm when they kept catching the eye of a seven meter croc who looked unhappy.
The road is not in good nick, and for about 20ks I was locked between two four-unit road trains because there was no overtaking lane — which did not stop two presumably local maniacs whistling past the three of us, and the Welsh poet, when they could not possibly have known if it was safe to do so. Darwin is bigger than I recall it, an odd kind of cosmopolitan kitsch and tropical drop-out zone. The main issue is the temperature — it is either uncomfortable or unbearable. I discussed this and other things at the drop-off point for the Nissan. I told the very relaxed and amiable guys there that it had not missed a beat, but that the launch had been at best farcical.
I noticed their eyes dilate on a couple of issues, and they had a firm view about the superiority of the Toyota. I thought I should have come earlier; they said it would be more dry, but it is hard to imagine it drier than I saw it. The Wetlands coming into Darwin were bone dry and scarred by fire. But if you go in the wet, the heat gets much worse, and you risk roads, including major roads becoming impassable.
I said that I did not fancy stalling in a stream and looking out for crocs. They said that on the road to Oenpelli, which I had passed that morning, and driven through some years ago, you could see crocodile tracks getting closer to the road as the water rose to cover it. That is the sort of thing that you would rather hear at the end a trip than at the beginning. It would not be pleasant to become a person of interest to a croc in a place like that.
I took pot luck on the Novotel in town. It was more than adequate and a about half the price and much better appointed than my lodging the night before. Before dinner, I watched a documentary on NITV about an aborigine who had been very badly on the grog for many years. That seemed to me to be a very large achievement. He spoke very movingly. No wonder so many succumb to the empty darkness of the bottle. I took dinner at the hotel outside on the most balmy evening I had felt the whole time away.
I joined an Irish environmental scientist from Limerick. He was very interesting on the economic recovery of Ireland and the reversal of the great migration that is now happening — he and his New Zealand wife will certainly stay here. Later we invited Heinz, a German from Frankfurt not far south of me in years. Heinz had just spent about two weeks in the middle of nowhere — Arnhem Land — with some colleagues and a guide.
He regularly comes here or goes to Africa to hunt. Hunting in Germany is much, much more upmarket than here. It is obviously a lifelong passion for Heinz. You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. It is a replica of a muzzle loaded rifle in use about years ago. You need to be within 50 yards to kill one of those big bullocks, so you need to have a steady nerve, and a back-up, who presumably knows how to operate a weapon with a lot bigger calibre than my I forget the calibre of the shot that Heinz uses, but I think it was at least of the order of the biggest used in orthodox bolt action rifles made today.
This was a really compelling discussion — with photos. I have only seen passion and acquired skill like that in fly fishermen.get link
Northern Territory holiday guide: the heart of Australia
The guy I was talking to pointed to a member who was on the land. Just bloody deadly. We discussed the different kinds of lightning in Europe, Africa, and Australia. I was amazed by it in Africa, and Heinz was attracted to it here. Lightning is likely to be of interest to white hunters and blackfellas. The one I had seen on TV earlier had spoken of how the land is renewed in the wet, our word for the monsoon. You learn more from a journey than a book, and it does not make much sense to ask whether my journey from Broome to Darwin was really necessary.
It was originally planned in the other direction, but Australian 4WD said that I could avoid the return fee of one thousand dollars if I reversed it. I wanted to do this trip, and I am glad that I have. I have now travelled overland over most of Oz. I had seen Kakadu and the West Kimberley before, but I wanted to traverse the lot. The Bungles were a prime objective and duly became the highpoint. Let us put to one side cruising the coast, which is very expensive, or doing an air safari, which is even more expensive. Let us put to one side big bus tours. Let us also put to one side those who pull vans or camp — they do it because they like it and it suits them.
From my observation, the range of sorts of people travelling this way is as wide as the range of means to do so. For example, the bigger new vans come with all facilities, and you can get home units built into the vehicle — I am told that there is a growing trend here to follow the US model of using one of these and pulling a small 4WD behind for travel at the destination.
These people have access to social life — a communal drink — in the evenings that motels are learning to seek to emulate with the barbecue and pool. Let us look at my model — driving yourself across the region, and staying in reasonable or better fixed accommodation. That raises the cost of the exercise, and what for at least some will be the worry of driving through hazards. The rough roads also increase the risk of breaking down — I met a guy at Darwin airport who had blown two tyres on one trip to Jim Jim Falls; the second one led to a long delay while they brought in the replacement.
My base costing is shown in the original itinerary set out at the end of this book. I varied this by reducing the stays at the Bungles and Kakadu for the reasons I have stated. That is a lot of money, but a lot of it is the cost of travelling alone — the accommodation and land travel costs would be the same for a couple. An alternative would be to base your trip around one or more hubs, and hire professionals to do the hard and dirty bits. You could then just relax, whether at your base or on the move, and come out much better informed — and, as like as not, much more relaxed.
One variation would be to fly to Darwin and hire a cheap orthodox car to go to and from Kakadu for say three nights, and then fly to Kununurra for say four nights and then fly to Broome for say five nights — allowing for say a two night tour into the West Kimberley, and possibly a flight to the Horizontal Falls.
You would want at least a full day tour in Kakadu, and the fly-drive tour to the Bungles. I also wanted to do the flight to the coast and Mitchell Falls, but the one day a week this was on did not fit my schedule.
KAKADU - Definition and synonyms of Kakadu in the German dictionary
You might also consider something like that schedule with a train trip from Adelaide to Katherine or Darwin, or from Perth to Sydney. If you pursued an option like that, you would have as good a notion of the vastness of it all as someone who has driven all the way. The roadhouses are not worth stopping at; a lot of the scenery is tedious; and you do not have to go up every gorge, or gaze upon every waterfall. If you wanted to go that way, and narrow the focus, I would suggest cutting out Kakadu and concentrating on the Kimberley and the two main towns.
They are much, much better served for accommodation and other amenities and chances for tourists — the prices and services are so much better because of the competition — and they are in no way deficient for things to do and see. Broome of course is a beach resort in its own right, but Kununurra struck me as being surprisingly amenable for tourists, and if you shout yourself a stay at something like the Kimberley Grand — which is much cheaper than Cooinda Lodge and much better appointed — you will have a very comfortable and relaxing stay.
You should then do the following. Work out what car you want. I believe that the big Toyota enjoys the best reputation, but you can make your own inquiries. Work out which company you want to hire the vehicle from. Before booking anything, ask if they have a slot where you will not have to pay the return fee. Hire a satellite phone for the time you will be in charge of the vehicle. You should require instruction of at least one hour on the controls of the vehicle, the use of 4WD, and driving on the roads that you will encounter.
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You should also require a demonstration of a change of tyre on your vehicle to ensure that you and the equipment on the vehicle are up to it. Unless you go through these procedures you will not have sufficient confidence in the vehicle or yourself fully to enjoy the majesty that awaits you. I of course did none of them. My own view, which is that of Bob from Albany, is that there is a lot to be said for people over sixty from the city leaving at least the hard bits to the experts. If you do not come to terms with the facts of life in this country — for example when swimming in the surf or driving in the outback — you might easily be worse than a bloody idiot — you might be a dead bloody idiot.
And those forms of death are not attractive. The highlights of my trip? The putti outside the IGA at Derby; ks up the road, mate, if you want a bottle of grog; and, above all, the unexampled glory of the Bungles. If I can convey one thing to you, it would be this — before you quit this earth, go to the Bungles. Go right into them — I should know, I have made three bloody trips in or over them. Go down to the bottom, where it gets like Arizona. Go to where they made that Qantas ad.
Go up the Picaninny trail and into the Cathedral Gorge. And just drink in the wonder of it all, and, yes, the Australianness of it all. If you are Australian and you shuffle off this mortal coil without having gone into the Bungles, you might end up being a lot worse off than a bloody idiot — you might go out as a dead-set bludger. The Kimberley Grand reception was the scene of a minor tremor on the Sunday.
Exultant in the level of luxury I was now in, I went back to reception to find out how to equip myself to celebrate. There was a most charming, if slightly austere, lady of Chinese extraction behind the desk. They are closed all Sunday. You cannot buy alcohol in containers on Sundays in Kununurra. Well, well, well. Let us now be crystal clear on one thing. These are licensed premises and I can get a drink here as a guest whenever I want to — even on Sunday. The good lady confirmed this with a sunny smile, and Mafeking had been relieved.
The Kimberley Grand had in its reception area two large paintings purportedly by aboriginal artists whose work I have versions of at home. I am not an expert, but I had the clear view that at least one of them was not the real deal. This form of copy-catting may not be too bad, but it shows the kind of problem these people may have in marketing their art, the best of which has commanded very high prices in Paris and New York. This is why I queried what would happen to the purchase price of the two little paintings by children that I bought at the Mowanjan Gallery at Derby.
Two of my favourite aboriginal paintings are by Freddie Timms, a former stockman from around Broome. They are like the aerial views of Rover Thomas, but in thrillingly bright colours. The reply was that Freddie might well be in the Broome slammer as we spoke. You always seem to run into these contradictions — if that is the word. Something quite remarkable happened when I got to my previously booked accommodation at Kununurra. I was served from behind the counter by someone who was Australian born, and it started to happen more often, although the French presence remains strong.
The Ibis Styles is what I think is called budget accommodation, but it is very adequate and very well managed by young and keen staff, with the capacity to eat around the pool when it got cooler. I met a guy there named Don who was a painter from Geelong, and who was a dead ringer for Roman Polanski. His wife Wala was from Germany with a Russian mother — or vice versa — and we shot the breeze over two evenings. I had decided almost immediately on getting into my room at the prior establishment to book a fly and drive tour into the Bungles, and I had booked and paid for this on the Sunday.
This town is far more settled and green and orderly than others that I have been to up here. Perhaps it goes back to the wealth created by the Ord River Dam and the miners. The town has a sense of confidence and purpose that I did not see elsewhere — except perhaps in Broome, which is also a tourist hub, and more of a venue in its own right, and with access to mining and other wealth. Diamonds and pearls can do wonders for a town. But a sense of confidence or purpose is not something that I saw in the first inhabitants of this land.
I can hardly recall seeing many such people doing a job with a sense of purpose or at all. The contrast with the young Europeans and Australians in work is as marked as it is depressing. What you do see everywhere is groups of indigenous people sitting in public places in the shade of a tree — you never see white people meeting like that. Or you see people on their own flip-flopping about aimlessly, and in a dishevelled fashion.
We know that these people can rise very high in art and sport, but we have a lot of trouble helping them out in other ways. It is very sad. One way to see the Kimberley would be to use this town and Broome, or possibly just one of them for the base for tours. You could visit a lot of places around both in cheap orthodox vehicles and get professional operators to traverse the hard parts by 4WD, air, or water.
Lake Argyle, including the Ord River Dam, is most imposing from any perspective. It is set deep in a dry and craggy landscape — like a sand-blasted loch in the Highlands. You can take a tour by catamaran. I was told that in some places you are out of sight of land. People swim there all the time — they do not worry about the fresh-water crocs. There is a division of view about the salties there — they are the local Loch Ness Monster.
Either category was enough for me to keep my togs dry, and keep the swimming to the pool; I also inclined to the view that I would require something in the nature of the Dreadnought to go out in a boat. On my last trip to Kakadu, I heard on the radio of two blokes fishing in a tinnie — that tipped over — obliging them to test the world record for the 50 meter freestyle sprint to save their skins.
Wyndham, if you look at the map, is the end of the line — and it bloody well feels like it. It is at one degree of separation from Halls Creek, but there is somehow a more stately and historical feel to its sense of decay. You feel like you could make a film about the end of the world there. It has a racetrack, a footy ground that bristles with signs banning booze , and three cemeteries — including one for the Afghans, comfortably off limits, thank you. It also has a sparkling police station and courthouse.
Over the Top Down Under
The separation of these worlds in the beginning of my equestrian activities was because I was less self-realised than I am now. I feared ridicule, being disapproved of or not being taken seriously as a professional or as a horse owner. These days I am open about it. There are a number of key moments in your relationship with Elvis when your decisions could have gone differently.
On reflection, what was the most important of those defining moments, and why? I am very determined and committed about jobs, to projects and the adventure of Elvis. If something is not working, I will just keep thinking of another way to achieve my goals. Sometimes this is detrimental to my wellbeing, but in many circumstances it has been beneficial.
There is enormous satisfaction in achieving something despite all the odds against you. But I was deeply involved and felt responsible for him. The other factor is that he could have been passed on to an unsuitable home or being sent to the knackery which was unthinkable having got to know his personality and sensitivities. I was disappointed after I got Mallory that I gave up trying to ride Elvis, but then I needed my hands, undamaged, to write and play the piano and at my age cannot afford to suffer physical disability.
How do you now view the day you first met Elvis? As an exciting, life-defining moment and one in which Rhys and I connected deeply. Well for someone like me with an intense interest in wildlife, nature and all kinds of creatures, Wooloongabba was exotic. The sight of a flock of fruit bats flapping across the sky at dusk was amazing.
I loved the reptiles I saw, the tropical foliage, and the ease that Queenslanders seem to have with their bodies. Even the floods and intense heat feel special. The extreme weather is very exotic to me when our Queenslander shakes in thunderstorms. When I lived in Melbourne, I would walk around Carlton admiring the weatherboards with their iron trimmings for instance.
Australians have different attitudes from the English, and I love the direct approach when in a community of people. I loved reading about Elvis and how you changed each other's lives. Thanks so much for sharing your stories with us. Gillian and Elvis' story is available in print at all good book stores. Introducing a rural, romance series with a difference. Thanks, Suz, for dropping by to tell us about this wonderful new rural romance series. With all the hunks and heroines discovering one another in this rural community, I foresee a population explosion in Bindarra Creek!
What inspired you to write this story? The goal plan of my heroine came to me after I read an article about remote country towns offering houses for sale or for rent at crazy cheap prices in order to encourage tradesmen with families to come and live in their towns. The desperation and the entrepreneurial spirit of that particular town impressed me.
I wondered what life must be like for the people already living there and when I coupled that with an idea of government funding to revitalise communities I discovered I had the core premise of a series. The character of Tessa came to me almost two years ago, when I wrote Dance in the Outback. I had this vague idea at the time of writing other stories based on various young people who had sought and found help in a children's refuge in the Blue Mountains. Tessa was originally blonde, blue-eyed and bubbly and I was certain her story would be a light-hearted and fun-type of romance.
Of course, she ended up being nothing like my original idea! Since I was involved in writing my Darkon Warriors science fiction romance series at that time, Tessa was shelved but I always knew one day the details of her story would come to me. When I combined the two ideas, ie a struggling rural community with a girl with an agenda of her own, Bindarra Creek Makeover was born. What drew you to the New England Tablelands as the setting for this series?
When I googled this region, I found an amazing diversity of landscapes that could be incorporated into various stories. What does your heroine see in your hero that sets him apart from other men? In Dodge, Tessa sees steadiness and reliability of character, a protector and more importantly, someone who understands and does not judge her.
And of course, there are those sexy dimples. What comes next after Bindarra Creek Makeover? For full details of these books please visit our website. Blurb for Bindarra Creek Makeover : Tessa Gibson reluctantly embarks on an elaborate plan to fund her escape from a dangerous collision with her past. With his career on shaky ground after his ex-partner is charged with fraud, Constable Dylan Myers aka Dodge returns to his hometown of Bindarra Creek. What he finds is a community struggling to survive. When an attractive young woman presents a proposal to the town council, his internal cop radar is activated.
Bindarra Creek Makeover will be available from most etailors from 15th July and paperback from Createspace. Please visit my website or the Bindarra Creek Romance series website for further details. It is available for pre-order here: Amazon Smashwords. What would you risk for love? With its incredible dangers and therefore its potential for great heroism, the French Revolution has offered writers the ultimate conflict against which to set great stories and strong characters. La Guillotine. Welcome, Elizabeth! I love the French Revolution as a back drop.
The events of shaped world affairs — politics, philosophy, economics, religion — and their effects are felt right to this day. The French Revolution and indeed the French Republic was a grand experiment based on some very laudable ideals — the Americans shared some of those but appreciated the debt owed to the past. The French wanted to repudiate past altogether — and that turned out to be a brutal and bloody disaster.
The Reign of Terror amps up the stakes for Abigail and Daniel. Through their experiences in Paris, you can see how these two characters change and grow. A certain favourite literary character of mine-- Sink me! When I was writing Moonstone Obsession in which he makes a guest appearance I wondered who Sir Percy Blakeney really was before he took on his swashbuckling persona, he had to be more than simply of man of leisure -- so one thing led to another and I ended up hinting at the events which take place in the first Scarlet Pimpernel book.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing this book? Abigail comes to regret her past, although she makes no apologies for it. She looks at Lady Hamilton and her life in Naples remember this is before her affair with Lord Nelson and thinks if only she could leave England, she could leave her past behind. Abigail plays a mean game of cards and bets calculatedly. Can you share an interesting piece of research about card games of this period?
Women did play cards and gambled quite avidly. Amongst the most notorious were Faro Ladies. Faro was a fast paced card game — easy to learn and easy to lose. Did I mention that Abigail is a very naughty girl? How did the spy game differ during the French Revolution? In some respects, not a lot is different — especially for the spies who are in enemy territory. At first Abigail thinks that this is going to be another adventure, but she soon realises how high the stakes are.
It is a hard profession and it takes a great spy master to know what assets to push and when to pull them out for the sake of their physical and mental safety. Excerpt Daniel picked his moment carefully. And although he made no especial effort to hide, he nonetheless remained in the shadows. He pulled out a cigar and lit it on a nearby taper. A dozen good men and women dead because of the Jacobins.
One to command, all to obey. Bear that in mind. He felt Percy slap him on the back. As you well know, those Frenchies have a devilish way of parting you from it. This promise delivers! Excerpt : A snippet of conversation between Liam and his mam, Mrs. It had always been like that, ever since he was little. He sat opposite her as she poured a cup of tea in the kitchen at An Mullach and pushed a plate of freshly baked scones and butter closer to him.
It was the best tea in the world, as usual. You know that. She does love me. Yes, I know Ash has got her plans. What then? Will she make a new set of plans and move on? Or will she be content to enjoy life here with us? He moved into a one-room shack at the back of the dairy, and we made love there every chance we got. Our lives only really mattered when we were together. But because my mam was so ill, well, I had to look after Da and the boys.
Because I had to cook and clean for seven brothers. And we were madly in love for over thirty years, until the good Lord took him from me. He remembered how affectionate his mam and da had been, doing big passionate kisses in the kitchen as Cherry and the boys were trying to eat dinner, and them groaning and saying how bad it was that their parents nearly made them feel sick. He remembered them dancing together at all the family gatherings, only having eyes for each other, and how every Sunday morning Da would go out into the fields early and pick a bunch of wild flowers and put them in a little vase on the breakfast table right in front of where his mam sat.
He cleared his throat. And one day, I hope to be a good father too. But nothing would make me happier than to raise my family here at An Mullach, and I say prayers every night that the good Lord will make that possible. But either way, Ash will be my wife.
I know it. Robinhill Farm Book 2 Ireland and all things Irish fascinate Noelle Clark and her holiday there has led to this three-book series Greeting, Noelle! What are the greatest challenges, and the greatest joys, of writing a series? The biggest challenge for me has been to ensure that books 2 and 3 live up to the promise that the first book has. They are stand-alone books, and therefore have their own story line, but the surroundings and characters from book one are there as well. Cullen who has been so popular with readers, plus focus on her boys, particularly Liam. One of the pleasures of a series is becoming more familiar with the family and community in which it is set.
Which characters can we expect to meet again? As I said above, Mrs. Liam what a wonderful name! Where does he fit into the story begun in book one? Cullen dotes on her boys. They are not all that well educated, but are brilliant farmers. They work hard, party hard, and love abundantly. How do you structure your writing day? Susanne, I wish I did have a structure to my day. I do try, but something always seems to distract me. But most days, I rise early, check my emails and then spend an hour on social media doing promo work for myself and other writers. I then set out to write a minimum of one thousand words.
Writing a series means you have many threads of characters, places and events. How do you keep track of the wealth of details within each story as well as the series? I have a map of Ireland in front of me at all times, so I know exactly where my characters are, and the landscape around them. I pore over photos I took while visiting that area, and research the local Tipperary newspapers for any events that might lend authenticity to my story. I also monitor the weather conditions at the particular time of year that the story is set. This is extremely important when writing a rural story, as farming is so governed by the seasons, especially in Ireland.
Needless to say, I immerse myself deeply into the landscape, the Irish slang, customs, and the Irish psyche.
Do you need a calm writing space, and do you play music to help achieve an atmosphere for a scene? When I first began writing, I loved having atmospheric music playing in the background, but these days I prefer total silence. I hear the voices of my characters better. It has passionate, lusty sex scenes and gets me into a space where I can then write my scene. Yesterday, I watched for the first time the episode of Outlander called the Wedding.
Now I have a much more tender, yet no less passionate snippet to watch to inspire me to write certain scenes. This is a tricky question. I do see clear visuals in my head of the landscape and setting for my stories, and my songs also evoke pictures. It is one of my favourites from Australian singer Shanley Del. She wrote it, and sang it as a duet with her husband in about Italy — cruising — Venice — Amalfi - Lee Christine has it all! Italy — cruising — Venice — Amalfi — billionaire yacht-builder — how could a girl resist this winning combination?
Welcome, Lee. I could go on and on. Why the Amalfi Coast as a setting for this story? It really is a magnificient part of the world. My hero is a naval architect who builds super yachts and my heroine is a violinist. The Amalfi Coast was the perfect setting in which to bring all the elements of the story together.
Related Kakadu, Saltie & Co. (German Edition)
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