Research done before and during the writing of Pennyweight Flat was rigorous and engrossing. People from countries around the world came to Victoria in the 1850s, the reason I made my protagonist French. And according to the history books, the miners marching from Creswick to Ballarat to protest against the licence fee, and join the Eureka Stockade, were indeed accompanied by a band playing the Marseillaise! In the course of my research, with Bruce’s help, I ended up with a number of photos.
After my first poetry collection Driftwood had been accepted to be published by Ginninderra Press I began to think about cover design. On a trip to Noosa I hiked through the National Park looking for inspiration, but Noosa Spit on a blustery day gave me the greatest variety of shots which had the potential to provide an interesting cover. With Bruce’s sage advice and steady hand, I ended up with many photos. Here are a few:
My general fiction novel, Couscous Threads, is centred in Melbourne, the city in which I grew up. It was nonetheless important for me to consolidate the setting of the story by revisiting the places I knew so well. Here are some of my photos:
Stinger in a Sugar Jar
Similarly, when I began to write Stinger in a Sugar Jar, I knew ‘on the ground’ research was important to get the setting for my story right. Again, I booked tickets and flew to Cairns in Far North Queensland, a place I have stayed in on many occasions. From there, I was able to check out beaches and rainforest villages. I even got up close and personal with those insane people who get their kicks out of bungy jumping!
Ants in My Dreadlocks
When Ants in My Dreadlocks was in the planning stage, I grabbed the chance to experience New Caledonia first hand. Prior to the nickel boom I had visited this cigar-shaped French island in the Pacific, inspiration for my first Young Adult novel Our Hollow Sofa. I was keen to see what life was now like behind the tourist areas.