Behind the Story: Darry Fraser

x240Darry Fraser’s first novel, Daughter of the Murray, is set on her beloved River Murray where she spent part of her childhood. Where The Murray River Runs, her second novel, is set in Bendigo in the 1890s, and her third novel, The Widow of Ballarat, takes place on the Ballarat goldfields in the 1850s. Darry currently lives, works and writes on Kangaroo Island, an awe-inspiring place off the coast of South Australia.

Welcome to Behind the Story, Darry! Please tell us about your brand new release, Elsa Goody, Bushranger, and also about your give away!

You know me and historicals – how did we women really fare back in the day? Not too far back for me, I only go back to the late 19th century in Australia but still, how did things work for women then?

So many things were happening. Some big iconic events – Eureka Stockade, for one, trade on our rivers. Federation was around the corner, some colonies had the vote for women and – there were bushrangers. I’d already written The Widow of Ballarat set just after the Eureka incident (and there are many stories still to be told from those days), and set three books on the Murray, our beloved, beleaguered river – Daughter of the Murray, Where the Murray River Runs and The Good Woman of Renmark. Many stories there, too.

So, bushrangers. Australia loves them, hates them but they’re ours – Ned Kelly and co being probably the most famous. Ben Hall another. They definitely take a writer’s eye; some thought they were heroes of their day. Now the not-so-bad ones are legends we love to love (mostly) for all sorts of reasons. But there weren’t so many bushrangers after Ned’s demise in 1880, so how was I going to write about a bushranger, and a female one at that sixteen years after bushranging stopped being safe for one’s health?

My heroine came to her fame accidently. She was on a mission to find what she believed to be rightfully hers and ‘something’ happened on the way. Throw in a deadline to be back home for the first election in Australia in which as a woman she was entitled to vote, a snarky older sister with her own agenda, and a family of three brothers in another colony. What could stop her? What could go wrong?

Elsa Goody BushrangerI was also able to use a family legend of my own in the form of the tin of gold coins Elsa Goody is trying to retrieve. Gold sovereigns were hard to come by, much less thirty of them. And how would a dirt-poor farmer be able spend one, let alone more of them, without raising suspicions?

I found a wonderful line of country in which to set Elsa Goody, Bushranger: Robe through Penola in South Australia, across the border into Victoria and the town of Casterton, the home of another of our icons, the kelpie.

So I was set – great countryside, an icon, a quest for gold, a so-called lady bushranger – with a twist.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Thank for having me, Alli.

http://www.darryfraser.com

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON AUSTRALIA

GIVE AWAY!

Darry is kindly offering one lucky commenter a copy of her new release, Elsa Goody, Bushranger. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell us about your favourite historical female – real or fictional. Give away entries are open until 1 July, 2020 at 11.59 pm AEST. 

 

 

 

Behind the Story: Lucienne Diver

headshot by PeteI’m very excited to welcome the fabulous Lucienne Diver to the blog to find out about her new release, Disappeared. In addition to Disappeared, Lucienne Diver is the author of two other YA thrillers, Faultlines and The Countdown Club, as well as the Vamped YA series and the Latter-Day Olympians urban fantasy series. More information can be found on her website www.luciennediver.com.

Welcome, Lucienne! Please tell us about your inspiration behind your new release, Disappeared.

The jumping off point for DISAPPEARED was a Forensic Files episode that really caught my imagination. It told of a boy who heard something the night his mother went missing and pretended to be asleep when his father came to check on him. That much stayed the same in my novel. Almost everything else changed, but that stuck with me.

All I could think about was what it must be like to be that boy living in that house with his father, who he couldn’t trust, who he feared had done something to his mother, but who was the only parent he had left. And how much worse if he’d left things unsaid, maybe angry at his mother because she’d tried to get out, even while he understood that she absolutely needed to go, even if it meant leaving them behind, at least until she could come back for him and his sister. Because he had a sister. I knew that. Younger. Someone he had to protect, and that brought all the weight down on his shoulders when he was already struggling so hard with everything he knew or thought he did, and everything he had to discover.

At first I made the sister too young to have enough agency. Because she’s got a journey of her own. While Jared lashes out, much like his father (and fears becoming him), Emily turns her pain inward, sometimes even cutting to relieve it. It’s something she has to hide. Like her mother hid her bruises and covered for the abuse. Emily can’t believe her mother would truly leave them. Not for good. No matter what their father says.

The actual mystery of what happened to Jared and Emily’s mother was as important to me to develop as the dynamics of an abusive household, and the rippling repercussions. But it’s about more than that too, relationships that go beyond Jared and Emily and their father. Others who are involved for better or for worse.

And then the discovery of their mother’s car at the train station in what would look like a clean getaway…except for the blood.

There are layers to be peeled back. Layers of mystery. Of discovery.

DISAPPEARED was one of the most difficult books I’ve ever written, and, I hope, one of the most powerful. It’s a young adult suspense novel, because the characters are teenagers and struggling with their own issues, but I think anyone can identify.

If you think you might like to try, here’s a bit about the book:

Quotes:

“A fast-paced murder-mystery with relatable characters and a shocking twist.”—School Library Journal

 “DISAPPEARED is a wonderfully creepy read! Full of devious twists and filled with characters who are so real you genuinely care about them. Highly recommended!” —Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of ROT & RUIN and V-WARS

disappeared coverDISAPPEARED by Lucienne Diver is a gripping YA suspense with a twist that readers won’t see coming.

The story their father tells about their mother’s disappearance doesn’t add up for Jared and Emily Graham.

Foul play is suspected, intensifying their fears.

Their mom’s car is discovered, abandoned and covered in blood. No one will tell them what’s going on, so they’re going to find out for themselves. Their investigations into what really happened to their mother may have killer consequences for them both, especially if the truth hits close to home.

You can buy a copy by clicking on the links below:

AMAZON 

AMAZON AUSTRALIA 

BARNES & NOBLE

 

 

Cover love

My fabulous publisher asked their authors to recreate the cover of their latest book for a bit of fun. My gorgeous four month old spoodle Luna volunteered (okay, she may have been bribed with lots of treats …) and my son did the artwork and came up with the new tagline. I think Miss Luna is a bit of a Hollywood diva in the making. What do you think?

Book to film? Maybe!

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Every author I know has dreamed about one of their books being adapted for the screen. For many of us, it’s a dream we cherish but we know the reality of it happening is remote. So when an opportunity popped up with the Queensland Writers Centre and Screen Queensland for authors to win a chance to meet with producers, screenwriters and show runners at a special market day, I couldn’t resist entering. Out of 250+ entries, only 25 were chosen and I am super happy to say one of the authors selected was me!

So in April I’ll be heading to the Gold Coast Film Festival to meet with screen industry experts and hopefully find one who wants to see one of my books on the big screen. This is such a great opportunity and wouldn’t happen without the hard work from the staff at Queensland Writers Centre and Screen Queensland and Gold Coast Film Festival. I’ll be honing my pitch over the next few weeks and even though I’ll be super nervous on the day, I’ll take a moment to enjoy the ride – you never know where it could take you!

 

 

A fabulous new release!

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I’m so pleased that my lovely friend Kerri Turner has her new book out and it’s fabulous! If you would like to read an excerpt, you can click on the link below. She’s an amazingly talented writer and an absolute sweetheart. Congrats on your wonderful book, Kerri!

An enthralling story of one woman’s determined grab for freedom after WW2 from a talented new Australian voice.

‘PART CABARET, PART BURLESQUE, AND LIKE NOTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN BEFORE! GENTLEMEN, AND LADIES IF YOU’VE DARED TO COME, WELCOME TO …

THE VICTORY!’

1945: After the thrill and danger of volunteering in an all-female searchlight regiment protecting Londoners from German bombers overhead, Evelyn Bell is secretly dismayed to be sent back to her rigid domestic life when the war is over. But then she comes across a secret night-time show, hidden from the law on a boat in the middle of the Thames. Entranced by the risqué and lively performance, she grabs the opportunity to join the misfit crew and escape her dreary future.

At first the Victory travels from port to port to raucous applause, but as the shows get bigger and bigger, so too do the risks the performers are driven to take, as well as the growing emotional complications among the crew. Until one desperate night …

1963: Lucy, an unloved and unwanted little girl, is rescued by a mysterious stranger who says he knows her mother. On the Isle of Wight, Lucy is welcomed into an eclectic family of ex-performers. She is showered with kindness and love, but gradually it becomes clear that there are secrets they refuse to share. Who is Evelyn Bell?

PRAISE FOR KERRI TURNER

‘Beautiful, daring, deceptive and surprising.’ The Australian Women’s Weekly

‘An impressive debut … one of the strengths of the novel is the tapestry it creates of everyday life in an era of great turbulence.’ Queensland Times

 

Audiobooks galore!

I’m happy to announce that today three of my novels and two novellas were released with Audible worldwide (Burning Fields was released last November). It’s super exciting to have my books in audio form and it’s a very different experience to reading them. For those of you who love audio books or are thinking about giving them a try, you might want to pop on over to Audible’s website and check them out. Audible also have a special on at the moment if you are signing up for the first time. Click HERE to take you to the Audible website to find out more. Happy listening!

Win an audio book!

5123Fx4cSsL._SL500_Well, we’re almost at the end of a decade (can you believe it?) and I’d like to offer one lucky newsletter subscriber the opportunity to win a copy of my recent audiobook release, BURNING FIELDS.

All you need to do is sign up for my newsletter and the winner will be drawn on 24 December, 2019 (AEST 11.59 pm).

You can sign up HERE

If you are already a newsletter subscriber, you don’t need to do anything as you are automatically entered into the draw!

Good luck and I hope 2020 brings you all you could ever wish for!

New release!

a-the-cinema-of-lost-dreams-2Release day is always exciting, especially when the book is being released worldwide in print and e-book. Today is the official release of The Cinema of Lost Dreams.

Here’s a little more about the book:

In Alli Sinclair’s moving story of love, loss, and ambition, two independent women, born decades apart, strive to fulfill their dreams.

In the movies, anything is possible. But as location manager Claire Montgomery knows, real life offers constant challenges, especially in an industry dominated by men. For her new project, Claire needs access to a beautiful Art Deco cinema located in Starlight Creek, a small town in northern Australia wine country. Though the movie theater and its elderly owner, Hattie, are both charming, Hattie’s handsome great-nephew isn’t so easy to convince. Claire must win their trust and permission, though even if she succeeds, she’ll face more complications that she could have anticipated . . .

1950s Hollywood: Lena Lee has worked hard to get ahead in Hollywood without getting caught up in backstabbing and infighting like so many other actors. In an era when censorship is rife and accusations of communism are rampant, Lena sees her star on the rise. But with increased visibility comes a greater awareness of what’s expected from women in her position. Lena is not willing to stay silent and go along with the game. Will she risk her career—and a newfound love—to stand up for what she thinks is right?

Thank you to everyone who has already pre-ordered a copy and thank you so much to the lovely reviewers who have already read and posted their thoughts. And a special thank you to all of you who support my books and spread the word, especially on release day! You’re the best!

Buy links:

AMAZON

iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

NOOK

 

 

Thank you!

 
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My very first book launch – Readings Hawthorn (Melbourne), 21 August, 2014

Today is five years since the launch of my first book, Luna Tango. It had taken ten years, three manuscripts (that will never see the light of day), lots of workshops and conferences, thousands upon thousands of hours honing my craft and a dash of luck to get to the point of seeing my first book published and available in bookshops. It was a dream come true and I’ll never forget that moment of standing in a bookshop and seeing my book on the shelves for the first time. It was a magical moment and scary at the same time. My story was out in the world and people were going to meet my characters for the first time. It felt surreal and I really did have to pinch myself (after wiping away tears of joy).

Before I was published all I had focussed on was getting a publishing contract. What I never expected was the wonderful friendships I would make with other writers, booksellers, book reviewers, journalists, librarians and readers. I love that my non-reader friends get behind me as well, promoting any events I’m doing or new releases. I adore the publishers I work with, their passion for the written word shining through in everything they do, and I am so thankful every day for my wonderful literary agent, Lucienne Diver, who works so very hard and is brilliant at what she does.

Never in a million years did I expect to see my books translated into other languages or be published around the world. I never expected to release a new book every year, be a bestseller or have one of my books voted into Australia’s top 100 books. I never expected that I would get the opportunity to do book tours in Australia and overseas, to be invited to literary events, mentor, and to teach workshops and run writing retreats with one of my best friends who is also a writer. I never expected opportunities to take my storytelling to the screen. But all these things have happened and I am grateful for every single one of these magical moments.

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A selection of books – more to come!

On this fifth anniversary, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for getting involved in this precious, uplifting, wonderful writing journey. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Alli