In Lockdown

Hello, I am away for a week in my mountain bolt-hole to finish the first draft of my current mystery book.

I will be taking my laptop but there’s no internet access so anything urgent will have to wait until I return.

David will be staying at home so we will be writing in different towns.

Last night I saw The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold with Artschool Annie. Critics mightn’t have warmed to this one but I loved it as it reminded me so much of my time in India.

When I am old (and beautiful) I want to stay at the Best Exotic Hotel Marigold for the old and beautiful. A very charming movie with some great depth to the characters.

And for those who missed it, here is the file of my interview with Blanche Clark which ran in the Melbourne Sunday Herald.

I shall add that to my slowly getting there media section. I am very slow with updating my website, But as the character Sonny, says in The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold, ‘ everything will be alright in the end. And so if it’s not all right. It’s not the end.’ Enjoy your week. Keep creative. Thank you for visiting me. xx

A Different Light

I’m not the world’s biggest Marilyn Monroe fan but for some reason I seem to own five rather large coffee-table MM books which I can never bring myself to cull because I love looking at her jewellery, gowns and make-up. I caught the movie My Week With Marilyn with Art School Annie last week and thought Michelle Williams did a very good job portraying such an iconic figure.

I admire Marilyn because she came from a humble background (like moi) but was always trying to improve herself. Unlike the stars today who often brag about being dumb, Marilyn desperately wanted to be taken seriously. She sought out the company of intellectuals and writers. I feel so dispirited at times with the ‘skank’ culture of today.

I love Marilyn for her book collection of over 400 books and because books were such a refuge and joy to her.

I admire her strength, her insecurity, her tenacity and her love of animals as well. There’s a blog HERE that covers Marilyn’s love of books better than I have time to do.

This weekend displayed to me how much can change in a year. Last year my daughter’s party was about tulle, tiaras and pink princesses. This year we had Goth-painted nails, monsters, black balloons, ghouls and creepy Monster High dolls.

I have a busy week of doing interviews for Poet’s Cottage and trying to nail the first draft of Currawong Manor. Here is a link to another early review HERE which I loved for Poet’s Cottage. It still seems so surreal that people are actually reading the book I spent so many years upon.  I shall have to organise myself to add a review section to my tatty, scatty website.

After the party. Daisy and I walk home in Sydney light.


Enjoy your week and happy reading. xx


It’s been a busy and exciting week for me with interviews for publicity for Poet’s Cottage and working on the FINAL stages of the first draft of Currawong Manor. Yes, it’s nearly there! The characters are doing their usual games with me at the moment but I think I’m following behind. Thankfully, this bunch is patient.


I’m so thrilled to post the first review of Poet’s Cottage HERE. It’s such a surreal feeling for me to see the book that has been part of my life since 2007 now out there in public. I know Booktopia have preorders available HERE and thank you to the lovely friends who have put in orders.

If you are interested in chasing down my original magical trilogy then Momentum have all three books (with brand new covers) as EBooks. YOu can find them HERE.

I am in my garden writing shed. It is pouring with rain and I’m so blissful I could melt. There’s no greater joy than writing in the garden in the pouring rain.

I have to also mention one of my favourite Blogs, The Local Rose, has just celebrated its first birthday. I don’t have a lot of time to visit Blogs but this is one I always love.

Shiva and her lovely daughter

My dream is to buy a writing retreat and head to the bush as often as possible to live a glam and bohemian a life as Shiva Rose. Her lovely, light-filled home was also featured on Apartment Therapy this week.

Shiva's home via Apartment Therapy


And in moments of great joy or sadness, I always turn to one of my favourite movies. The Unbearable Lightness of Being.



This move is so beautiful, so haunting, it hurts.

Life’s so Light.

Thank you for visiting me. I should also mention that Poet’ s Cottage will be featured in the March edition of Good Reading magazine. The article will tell the story of how a family holiday inspired my mystery novel. Have a beautiful weekend. I am hoping for a couple of dawn writing sessions to get the first draft out of me.

This morning my geranium at the front of the house which I sadly thought had died has a lovely red new flower for me to marvel over. xx

“She loved to walk down the street with a book under her arm. It had the same significance for her as an elegant cane for the dandy a century ago. It differentiated her from others.” ― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



A Scorpion in the Corner and Publicity for Poet’s Cottage

February has been a blur as publicity for Poet’s Cottage begins, ahead of its release in Australia.

My garden writing shed

I’m sitting in my courtyard garden now and the weather is so sunny for a change in Sydney.

I had plenty of chances to use my Mary Poppins umbrella this rainy summer. Of course, I’ve loved the rain.

This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed at home by Mr Steve Meacham for the Sun Herald newspaper. I say it was a pleasure because this gentleman wrote one of my favourite pieces recently,Writer’s Craft is now a Ghost in the Machine. You can find a link to this article here.

I find the whole interview process very daunting as I often get so tongue-tied and a shambling, rambling mess when talking about myself. I take heart from Arthur Boyd who was reputed to be woeful for the journalist to follow in interviews. I found that one of the most endearing traits of Arthur’s.

I was delighted to start off the publicity for Poet’s Cottage with a phone interview for the Tasmanian papers. I shall let you know when they are coming out.

I cannot wait for the Kerry Greenwood TV series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, starring my favourite, Essie Davis. You may recall I have bragged often about Essie and I being at the same College of Creative Arts in Hobart. I think she’s perfect casting for Phryne and I love Kerry Greenwood. I’ve won The Malice Domestic Award twice (okay, that’s a little brag again, but forgive me, another thing that I could have said to Steve and forgot). And because Essie is a Tasmanian girl (go Tasmanian girls!) I had her in mind for my character of Pearl Tatlow when I was writing Pearl.

Except now she looks just like my Pearl from Poet’s Cottage (I love her with the dark bob) but she’s Phryne. This show looks wonderful and I can’t wait to see it.

A million times better than the ghastly Underbelly offering which I wrote about here. A small slice of Underbelly Razor.

Tonight I went to the movies with Art School Annie and saw The Artist which is as wonderful and lovely as the reviews said it was. How magnificent is the dog Uggie?

And the two leads, Berenice Bejo as Peppy and Jean Dujardin, are perfectly cast. Not to mention all those fabulous 20’s frocks and shoes…

And a favourite book I read in February: Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers.

I‘m in awe of this book. I prostrate before it. So beautiful, powerful and inspiring. Alice Hoffman brings the bones to life so eloquently in her account of four women at Masada in 70AD. I take my hat off to Hoffman for her reminder of how powerful words and tales can be. This is a book that will give you strength. It’s raw and graphic and some of the passages will nearly destroy you with how inhumane people can be – but then the doves are always there as a symbol of goodness and hope. And Hoffman is writing at the top of her powers. She creates a spell just as powerful as Shirah does in the story. A wonderful novel about women, women’s mysteries and women’s stories.

This reads like a channelled book that contains the prayers and devotions of a real group of four women who would have been lost to time. But it really does contain messages and symbols for modern women as well.

Hats off again to Alice Hoffman for opening a portal where I could glimpse a world where fortunes were divined by scattering dove bones, Lilith was feared for snatching babies at night, girls were given in arranged marriages at thirteen and a Scorpion in the corner is a sure sign a witch is present.

As for my current book, Currawong Manor, I’ve finally reached the 100 000 mark of my first draft. There’s still a bit to go and for reaching that important mark I treated myself to this lovely black telephone.

I feel as if Hercule Poirot is exercising his little grey cells as he chats to me on the other end

And of course, I can’t leave this post without one little peep at Johnny.

Thank you for visiting me. xx