When I remember all the houses and flats I’ve ever lived in, even in London, I could look out my bedroom window and see trees. The best places I’ve ever lived are the ones where I could lay in bed and watch the trees and the birds and the changing seasons.
I was born and raised in a farming community in the Murray Mallee region of rural South Australia, and my heart will always be in the country, and when I’m not physically there, I yearn to return. These days home is the Clare Valley wine-growing region in South Australia.
Before following my dream to become a writer, a career as a registered nurse gave me the opportunity to experience many country health practice settings – lots of ideas and inspiration!
I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in the Northern Territory, Outback South Australia and Queensland; I’ve done agency nursing in London, and volunteer work in a hospital in Vietnam. And I’ve worked for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
My ongoing fascination with the complexities of small country communities, the characters I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had, are all reflected in the novels I’ve written, and the ones I’m planning.
Books have always been an integral part of my life. No moment is complete without me being somewhere in a book – either reading it or anticipating going back to it, or looking forward to starting the next one. Then there’s the feeling that lingers like an afterglow long after I’ve finished a particularly good story. And when I’m writing, wanting to know what happens in the story keeps me at the keyboard until The End.
When I started writing I knew nothing of the craft. Not a journalist or a writer friend in sight, nor anyone in marketing. And there were rejections, so I set about learning everything I could about the craft, and the business of writing. I attended workshops, wrote, joined a writers’ group, and went on to successfully complete an Advanced Diploma of Arts – Professional Writing with the Adelaide Centre for Arts, graduating in 2009.
My first publishing success came with a short story called Waiting for Harry entered it in the Romance Writers’ of Australia’s Little Gems competition. It won a place in their annual anthology. Of course I was over the moon.
And along the way I had a go at being a journalist myself. Over several years I wrote 60-plus stories for the free rural newspaper, The Flinders News.
In March 2015 my first novel, The Country Practice (Penguin), hit the book stores. Novel number eight, Daisy and Kate, goes on sale 30 August 2023. What a rollercoaster ride it’s been…
Nursing was my first career, and writing is my second. If a friend hadn’t challenged me to follow my dream, I might still be pounding hospital corridors!
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx.