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.
There are short stories which 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. I am currently finalising two projects.
A collection based on my experiences in Central Australia in the late sixties to the eighties was originally called ALICE BLOODY SPRINGS. Editing the stories and writing several new ones resulted in a change of title to RADIANT SANDS. 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. These are Australian stories based on real experiences in the desert zones at a time which will never return.
Another collection of stories is close to completion. REVOLUTIONARY BABY is about life in Australia and Asia in the twentieth century and culminates in a novelette about a middle aged Australian woman who goes to Thailand for cosmetic surgery and finds a love she never expected.
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.
There is more on the way across several genres. I know this is considered fatal, 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.
And learning about independent publishing has been a huge challenge.I’ve written a bit about this in my posts.
BUYING MY BOOKS: It is easy to buy both my recent books on Amazon Kindle. The print version of Priceless Princess can also be ordered through Amazon, but with postage from the US it is very expensive. It can now be ordered in Australia through most good booksellers and soon will be available direct from my website using Paypal.