Well, here we are at the end of another year, and I hope it has been a good one for you. At the year’s end, I reflect on what has passed and then look to what lies ahead. This year saw lots of local travel, exploring our own Australian backyard, venturing out of South Australia into Queensland for a week by the coast with friends. The weather was warm and humid in contrast to our South Australian cool spring.
Besides travelling, I released two books--El Alto in January and Return to El Alto in November. I talked a bit about the writing process of these two books in the November 2021 newsletter and how travel inspires. When I wrote them, I had never visited Peru, so to rectify this we took off with friends a couple of years ago. It was one of the best holidays I have had. The people were wonderful, the history fascinating, the scenery stunning, and the Amazon jungle just how I pictured it. We would have liked to have visited the town of El Alto (Piura Region) in the north—yes, there is a place with that name, my husband was born there, his parents worked there as geologists—but alas, it was not easy to get to. When you read the books, I hope you will feel the desert and jungle, get a feel for the people and the emotion I tried to capture when telling this story.
Time to talk about my new West series. For years I have wanted to write a family saga. I love reading series because characters generally cross into all books, and once you have grown to love a character, it is nice to see them again. The West series is no different. We start the journey with Book 1, Destiny, which is due for release early 2022. You will meet the patriarch, Daniel West, and the lovely Eleanor Clifford. They meet at a bear lodge in British Columbia. Now there is a place to visit.
It all started with a writers’ conference in Denver. During the planning stages, my writing friend suggested that Canada was not far away and how about we make a side trip. She did not have to do much convincing. I am easy-going and agreed it sounded like a splendid idea. We ended up doing a little more than a side trip! We travelled through the Rockies and cruised into Alaska, but our visit to a bear lodge was the highlight. Yep, we saw lots of bears along with eagles, mink, otters, and seals. While cruising along the estuaries in a small boat, a glimmer of a story developed, and Destiny was born. There is nothing like a pandemic to keep you home writing, so seven books were born in sixteen months. My characters journey to many places, but the home base for the West’s is Colorado, and the home base for the Clifford’s is Newmarket in the UK. You will get to know them intimately as they cross all books. They will be those you love and those you hate. Either way, they will take you on a fantastic journey.
More about Destiny next year.
I will finish by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and will end with this quote by Hunter S Thompson: -
Life should not be a journey to the grave to arrive safely in a well-preserved body, but instead skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow!
Until next time, take care.
As we head towards the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. It’s a gorgeous time of year, birds are busy building nests, plants are budding, and flowers pushing heads. It won‘t be long before the garden is a kaleidoscope of colour.
I’ve talked previously about how vital surroundings and travel is for a writer. It’s what inspires and helps keep the creative juices flowing. If I can’t get away, a walk with my dogs through the garden checking out our resident blue tongue lizard, koalas, kangaroos, and plants in bloom refresh the brain. Writers, as a rule, are solitary creatures. We spend hours at our desks, conjuring up the fate of our characters. So, getting out into the world is crucial.
I’ve given you a glimpse of some of the far-flung places in South Australia I’ve explored this year. This month, I’m off on my first trip out of South Australia in a while, heading north to tropical Queensland.
The sequel to El Alto - Return to El Alto is being released on November 19th, 2021. It is the dramatic conclusion to Claudia and William’s extraordinary adventures through, Peru, Australia and California. Starting when they’re eighteen-year-olds. The two books span nearly twenty years, and we travel with them through their early relationship, when they’re torn apart and come back together. As we all know, life has its up and downs, and William and Claudia have their fair share. Their journey is heart-wrenching, yet they lift themselves above it all and find the courage to continue. If you love reading about true love and adversity, this is for you. All my books are available through your local Amazon site.
Take care and until next time.
Contemporary adventure with