THE SISTERS' SONG is OUT NOW from Allen and Unwin.
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Varuna 2019

So I've returned home from Varuna, a writers' house in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of NSW. I've spent time at Varuna before (see here and here), back in 2014 when I was the recipient of a residential fellowship, so I knew it was exactly what I needed at this point...

12 Tips on Giving a Good Author Talk

As a published author, you're expected to speak at writers festivals, libraries, book clubs and to writing and community groups. But, if you're anything like me, the notion of public speaking might fill you with terror. I'm not, by nature, a public speaker. Speaking...

Three Things I Need Before I Can Write A Novel

At the end of last year, I wrote a post called The Trouble With Second Novels after I'd abandoned my second attempt at writing a second novel. At that time, I was trying to keep myself buoyant because I was feeling rather deflated—I'd hoped to have a...

The Trouble With Second Novels

This afternoon while it was 38ºC outside, I sat at my desk and opened my current manuscript. It had been a while since I’d written and, although I've missed creating sentences, I'd needed the break. I've been working on my second novel for most of this year. So far,...

Social Media For Writers

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you to send me your questions about social media. I received quite a few, too many to answer all in one post, so I chose the questions that seemed to have the broadest appeal. As you'll see, my answers are lengthy as I've tried to write...

How I Got An Agent

A few weeks ago, Lauren Keegan invited me to be part of her monthly blog series, How I Got An Agent. You might remember Lauren from this amazingly honest and moving post she wrote for Writers in the Attic last year. She wrote about rejection,...

Replenishing the Empty Well

Today I felt like journaling. It had been a few months since my last journal entry because I hadn't had much to say. But today I felt like writing again so, for a change, I decided to type my thoughts straight into a Word document. This is different to how I last...

Writing is Rewriting

Back in 2013, when I finished a first draft of 'The Sisters' Song' (which was called 'Ida's Children' then—I'm still getting used to calling my child by a different name), I had no idea how much editing and rewriting lay ahead. I thought four, maybe five, drafts, and...

Is Blogging Worth It?

Blogging is a big commitment. I've done it for three-and-a-half years now, and there have been times I’ve been tempted to let it lapse. When it's felt like too much of a burden, another deadline, a time-sucker. I’m not a quick writer, and I can’t...