I will always run for chocolate!
It’s been a very bookish past few weeks – and I’m not referring to my own work.
You need to read a lot, I believe, to write well, so I’ve been devouring some wonderful new novels by several of my favourite Australian female authors.
First up, I was lucky enough to receive and advanced reading copy of my good friend Mary-Lou Stephens’s latest, The Chocolate Factory.
This historical fiction novel – set at the Cadbury factory at Claremont during its establishment years in the early 1920s – contains more than a glass and a half of brilliance in every chapter. I absolutely loved it. Like chocolate, a rich and luscious treat to savour.
Writing a novel is much like running a marathon … It requires courage to set out and determination and discipline to continue when the going gets tough. And you’ve just got to hope that there’s more than a slightly warm banana as a reward at the end. I thought it was fitting that I should don my Cadbury Marathon tank and cap to go for a run from the factory in honour of Mary-Lou’s latest masterpiece. Look out for it early in 2024.
Next up, another historical fiction read … Natasha Lester was in Hobart to promote her latest, The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard.
Fashion – specifically intriguing dresses – is at the heart of Natasha’s writing, so you could say that it is made to measure for me! I thought a couture gown might be a little OTT for the event, but once again I did my best to match my outfit with the book.
And finally, the photo of me with the train is the closest to The Ghan that I could get in Hobart! The legendary Ghan, running from Darwin to Adelaide, is largely where the latest book I’ve just finished – written by another lovely author buddy, Tricia Stringer – is set.
I’ve loved all of Tricia’s novels, but I think Back on Track might just be her best yet. A little bit of the intrigue of Murder on the Orient Express but, thankfully, without any dead bodies, and featuring a cast of fascinating, lovable and inclusive characters dealing with a range of on-topic issues. I’d highly recommend lovers of women’s contemporary fiction get aboard this one!