A New Setting in Life & Literature

A New Setting in Life & Literature

I’m a big believer in fate and just recently a couple of things happened in my writing and in my life to deepen that belief even further.

 

I’ll start with the writing …

 

A few months back I was discussing new novel ideas with my publisher who was keen for me to try a new setting. All three of my books have been set in fictional locations on or near the south-eastern coast of New South Wales. Maybe my publisher was right? Maybe it was time for a change? She suggested something well away from the coast, something decidedly outback. But as someone who likes to get a good feel for a place before I use it as a setting this idea was problematic – I haven’t been anywhere remotely outback recently and had no ideas for any suitable storylines.

 

And this is where the fate part comes in.

 

A few weeks later, when I’d already started on a novel with no definite location in mind, I received an email from a lovely librarian in Hughenden (central Queensland) inviting me to visit and speak at a dinner as part of their drought relief community program. I googled the town and found images of red earth, dusty roads and plenty of windmills. A little more research and I discovered the area is badly affected by drought – farmers are destocking, businesses closing and locals are having a very hard time of it. Perhaps there was some material here for a new story?

 

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Another week or so later I woke up in the middle of the night with an entirely new plot – set in a central Queensland outback town. Wide awake, I spent an hour or so scribbling down an outline which I tidied up a little and sent to my publisher the next day. This was her response:

 

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I’ve since started writing that story and have visited Hughenden. It’s a beautiful country town filled with amazing, friendly people who are, sadly, all suffering from the effects of the drought. I visited a number of properties and saw how dire the situation is for some and while this may be useful writing material, my heart breaks for those who are suffering and I am certainly praying for rain.

 

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Not long after the trip had been planned something completely unexpected happened. A property came up for sale in an area we had been keeping an eye on and within a few days we had made an offer and were soon to be on the move. That was about 9 weeks ago and we moved in 10 days ago. It all came about because of a random phone call and after a few weeks of seriously de-cluttering (we’ve lived in the one house for 25 years) we are now living on a beautiful 50 acre place very close to Sydney.

 

Needless to say the novel I have started has been put on ice for a week or two but hopefully I’ll be well into the draft this time next month.

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Looking forward to spending some time writing in my new location – and writing about somewhere new.

 

Will keep you posted.

 

Pamela x

 

PS: Books make great Christmas gifts. If you would like a signed copy of Close To Home, Blackwattle Lake or Essie’s Way for a friend or relative please check out details on my website.

 

3 Comments

  1. Have just finished reading Close to Home and have started on
    Essie’s Way. Love both. Will have to go and find Blackwater Lake. Keeping writing your Aussie novels, they are beautiful.

    Reply
    • Hi Rosemary, thank you so much. I love hearing from readers and knowing that you’ve enjoyed both books has made my day. Hope you can source Blackwattle Lake. I’m sure you can still by it through Booktopia or a local bookstore could order it in for you. If all else fails I have some copies. I’m hard at work on my new book which is due out in December. Thanks for getting in touch.

      Reply
  2. Good information. Lucky me I discovered your website by chance (stumbleupon).
    I have saved as a favorite for later!

    Reply

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