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A story lost and found

A story lost and found

Growing up, I knew my grandpa wasn’t my real grandfather. It didn’t matter – I still loved him very much. All I knew about my mother’s father was a phrase, tired and worn from much repetition. ‘Your grandfather died on a Japanese boat that was bombed by the Americans during the Second World War.’ It …

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The Winter Dress: A Review

The Winter Dress: A Review

In 2014, on the island of Texel, North Holland, an incredible discovery was made. Local divers recovered artefacts lost centuries before in one of Texel’s many storms. Among them was a well-preserved silk dress. Dating back to the 17th Century, it is considered one of the most significant textile finds ever. For Lauren Chater, author …

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2022 – My No-Spend Year

2022 – My No-Spend Year

This year I’ve started a no-spend year. To tell you why, I have to go back in time. In 2013 I completed my PhD. I looked at the way we talk and think about the earth in fiction. My key idea was that if we moved to a biophilic orientation we might take more action …

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All Manner of Things: A Review

All Manner of Things: A Review

Wendy Dunn is an Australian author who, up til now, has focused on the Tudor era. (I say up til now because I know she has other stories bubbling away and I am DESPERATE to read them. Hint, hint!) Wendy has felt a lifelong affinity with Anne Boleyn. Her first two books, Dear Heart, How …

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Stranded Australians – History is repeating

Stranded Australians – History is repeating

As the pandemic continues to disrupt lives, there are many Australians overseas who are trying to return home. Barriers include skyrocketing travel costs, and caps placed on hotel quarantine that limit the number of people allowed into the country. There are regular media stories about stranded Australians in Covid hotspots. The situation is completely terrible …

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Searching for Charlotte – Review

Searching for Charlotte – Review

The manuscript I’ve just completed writing is historical fiction. I’ve discovered it’s a fascinating genre to write in. I didn’t study history at university, so I didn’t understand how addictive it can be when you start researching the past. For those of us who don’t delve into the dark side of humanity by writing crime …

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Own Voices and Neurodiversity

Own Voices and Neurodiversity

The idea of ‘own voices’ in publishing has been in mainstream thought since at least 2018. It’s a highly controversial and rapidly evolving area of debate. At its core is the question, should stories about minorities only be written by minorities? If you’re interested in reading more, there are lots of articles about it (such …

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Fantasy World Building – A New Approach

Fantasy World Building – A New Approach

As a writer, I’m pretty familiar with building a fantasy world. In the Tarya Series I began with the Italy of the Renaissance, then added my own spin to it in order to build a rich magical place where readers would believe artists could manipulate dreams to create magic. I’m starting on a new kind …

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Autism: A message to my younger self

Autism: A message to my younger self

I’ve just received a diagnosis that I’m on the autism spectrum (with some inattentive ADHD thrown in for good measure). When I think about the difficulties I experienced when I was young, I want to go back and give that confused, sad little girl a big hug. Here’s what I might say. Hey kiddo, I …

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My childhood in books

My childhood in books

One of the questions I get asked a lot is what age my books are suitable for. I usually answer ‘twelve to one hundred and twelve’. Sometimes people follow up with a comment: ‘my daughter reads everything’, ‘he reads well above his age’, ‘she loves books by [adult author]’. And I smile, knowing my books …

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