I’ve always loved writing fiction. Right through my academic career novels and stories were always there in the background, and I amassed folders of written and typed manuscripts and computer files. I secretly thought of myself as a fiction writer – I just had to wait until I could emerge from my scholarly disguise.
Well now is the time to pull those babies out and give them a good wipe-over. My favourite is a serious literary project begun in the early 1990s, BACKEDDY. It’s a good book and I still love it but a complicated structure and time frame give trouble every time I try a new edit. It is a truly Australian story, and if I could find a traditional publisher for it I would be delighted.
My short stories deserve a spin, even though everyone says the form is dead in the water. Commercial publishers aren’t interested, but there are readers who love them because they are quick to read on buses or in the bath. Two volumes should appear by the end of 2017: Revolutionary Baby and Radiant Sands.
REVOLUTIONARY BABY is about life in Australia in the twentieth century and includes three long stories, novelette length, as well as a number of short fictions.
RADIANT SANDS is a collection based on my experiences in Central Australia in the late sixties to the eighties, and includes several stories about the 1940s and 1950s. The final novelette- length story, set around Maralinga, is a fictional account of a patrol officer facing awful choices when Aboriginal people were known to be still out in the atomic blast zone.
THE PRICELESS PRINCESS. A book for children aged 8-10. E-book and print versions available. The Princess’s website is here.
SUBURBAN GIGOLO: A cat’s eye view of life in the Inner Western suburbs of Sydney – a fun read with a serious message. Novelette-length in e-book only (no print version), available through Amazon, I-books and other e-book platforms.
Three volumes of memoirs will be finished by early 2018. I know a writer is supposed to write just one kind of story with one style of cover or readers will get too confused. I don’t want to do that. I am glad I can reach readers through independent publishing, but I hope to be able to publish traditionally as well, and I write what I want to, not to a formula or commercial prescription.
I love the writing process, and am learning all the time, especially how to accommodate today’s expected prose structure, tone and narrative. Sometimes something I wrote twenty years ago reads like a nineteenth century author, Henry James or George Eliot. The contemporary writing style with short sentences, no similes or metaphors, snappy dialogue, showing not telling, forgetting the backstory, eliminating the weather reports …. it’s still English but not as a Literature student learnt it all those years ago.
BUYING MY BOOKS: It is easy to buy all my books on Amazon using Kindle. You don’t need a Kindle device to read them, you can download the Kindle software easily for IPad and other devices. They are available both from the Australian Kindle store, and the US store. The prices obviously are different for both.
Printed versions of my books can be ordered through Amazon, but with postage from the US it is very expensive. You can order from most bookstores in Australia (and elsewhere) and soon you will be able to buy them direct from this website and from the new Blackwing Press site now in construction. Or you can order by mail from Blackwing Press, PO Box 3, Katoomba NSW and pay by direct debit. Prices will include postage and handling.