Book News

I have just received word that The Garden of Empress Cassia will be published in Korea. It has already been published in England and Spain. Each of the covers for these two editions have been different to the Australian version so it will be interesting to see what Korea does with the book.

At the end of this month, I will be travelling to Cairns at the invitation of the Cairns Library. I will visit schools in the area to talk about books and writing as well as conducting writing workshops for adults. I love Cairns and was up there last year for a holiday. Not only am I looking forward to meeting new people and being surrounded by the  lush green tropics again, but it will be so good to get away from our frosty Melbourne winter for a while.

I am working on my new novel, Little Paradise. This is a book for young adults and takes place in Australia and Shanghai, China, during and immediately after World War Two. My main character’s name is Mirabelle and her passion is art. She is sixteen and especially loves designing clothes.
It’s important to research properly when you write a novel so I am reading books and interviewing people who are in their 80s now because they were teenagers during World War Two. Out of all my books this has been the hardest one to write. Writing a novel is full of choices. And that’s the hard part. I have so much factual information about that period of time, I have to constantly ask myself, ‘Is this piece of information good for the story?’ And then I have to weave it together with things that come out of my imagination.

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