• Blog

    When life becomes research


    Sydney PoolWhen you write one of the really nice things is that everywhere you go you get ideas for your books and stories. As I write contemporary fiction a trip to a cafe, a walk on the beach or even a visit to the library can be considered research.

    What would my main character order? Who would walk along this beach? Why is she at the library using the free wi-fi? How would she feel about that annoying storytime singing in the corner? Wistful? Frustrated? Would she wonder why she gave up singing?

    Sometimes of course you have to go out of your way to visit interesting places and spaces your characters might go to. In the novel I wrote for my NaNoWriMo this year one of the characters lived within walking distance of the famous Sydney pool pictured above and decided to swim there regularly. I don’t think that novel will ever see the light of day but my family and I visited the pool this weekend. It’s a really great pool and has a wonderful location so I can see myself including it in a future book. Research and life came together for a fun day out.

    Some research is harder than others. I have been asked if Mr Right and Other Mongrels will have a sequel and I hope so. Honestly I think it requires a trip to L.A. for me to do ‘reserach’ because Allegra and Teddy were headed off to L.A at the end of the last book. It’s twelve years since I was last in L.A so I don’t think my memories or information on the town are accurate enough.

    I think getting the research right is important. Visting as many locations as you can, tasting the food your characters eat so you can describe how their face might move and how they night feel or react if they eat something of a certain texture all adds to the story…oh yes and it makes life more interesting as well.

  • Blog

    Using Pinterest to help write and inspire your novels


    Pinterest Logo
    Are you on Pinterest? Do you even know what it is?

    Pinterest is like a huge global bulletin board where you can pin images already on there, images approved for pinning (some sites suggest you pin things) or your own images. You can’t just take people’s images though because that would be a breach of many rules so if you’re in doubt leave it out!

    (You have to be invited to join Pinterest so if you’re not on there and you’re curious…e-mail me via the contact form on this site and I’ll invite you.)

    Here are my boards….


    As you can see I have them for a variety of topics – American readers did you know we don’t have crescent roll dough in Australia? Shocking I know, but if we ever do I have a whole board of recipes ready to go.

    As a writer people have often cut magazine images of pictures that remind them of characters or settings or to inspire them. Now you can do that on Pinterest. I have a board for Hearts Afire as you can see and for another of my novels called A Fair Exchange.

    In Hearts Afire the main character Cassie is a caterer and a bride so I have collected images that speak to that. Jack is a fireman so more pictures along those lines. And there is a tropical island as well. I think you get the idea.

    In the same way writers use music to inspire them images can really help. If you’re sitting in winter in Sydney sometimes you need a nice sandy beach to look at to get you in the mood to write about one.

    Like anything you can use these things to help you, or they can be another massive tool for procrastination…hopefully I’m using Pinterest for the former.