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 2018: Revolutionary Baby and Radiant Sands.
REVOLUTIONARY BABY is about life, mostly in Australia, in the twentieth century and includes three novelette length stories, as well as a number of shorter pieces.
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.
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 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 from the Australian Kindle store.
Readers in Australia can no longer order a print version from Amazon, as far as I can work out, now that Amazon won’t allow Australian readers access to their US site. But you can order from Book Depository, Angus and Robertson and other bookstores in Australia (and elsewhere). At the moment only The Priceless Princess is available but all titles to be published from 2018 on will be able to be ordered, or you can order direct from Blackwing Press, PO Box 3, Katoomba NSW using Paypal. Prices will include postage and handling.