Thursday, 21 July 2011

Beyond the Sunset

My husband and I were born in the UK, emigrated to Australia thirty years ago but love to return to the UK regularly. We still love both countries, just can’t cope with the UK winters.
The first time my husband suggested us buying a summer home in the UK and spending more time here, I shuddered and said no way, too much extra work. After all, I’ve got writing to do.
But I caved in, and I’m really glad I did. It’s been hard work setting up a two-country lifestyle, but the stimulation of our new life has made story ideas well up in greater numbers than ever before.
It’s no problem setting up the office equipment, but I worried about my huge collection of research books. How was I going to manage without those for my historical novels? The answer is, I plan ahead very carefully and do all my main and preliminary research in Australia. Then I use the living research in both countries – buildings, museums, people, the beautiful countryside, research books that don’t make it overseas.
Another thing has happened: with more exposure to people unfamiliar with Australia, I think I understand more about ‘showing’ them Australian history in my stories and I think that’s improved my stories. I hope so, anyway!
I’ve just had a series published set in Western Australia in the 1860s. (Farewell to Lancashire, Beyond the Sunset, Destiny’s Path) England was a busy industrial country in that decade, with railways connecting not only main cities, but small towns and villages too. Western Australia, physically as big as Europe, had a population of only 30,000 and no railways at all.I’ve also written a series of Wiltshire sagas, beginning with Cherry Tree Lane and Elm Tree Road

1 comment:

  1. Ah - so being away from a location makes you explain it to others, and you get a handle on your own familiarity with it... and get grist for the mill. Wonderful! Perhaps that's what happens to me after each trip overseas... a look at what I write after I travel is an indication of what you just said here. Thank you, Anna.