Beginnings

Beginnings

The opening chapter of a novel is the element that is rewritten, amended and tweaked more than any other part of a story. Ask any writer how many versions of an opening chapter they have written, and the answer will be dozens, if not more. Deciding on exactly where...
Narrative Distance

Narrative Distance

The first time I learned about narrative distance – also called psychic distance – I was attending a writers’ workshop in York. It was a light-bulb moment for me. Workshop teacher, author and freelance editor, Debi Alper, described narrative distance as the space...
The Power of Nature

The Power of Nature

Thirty minutes from suburban Melbourne, as the road winds its way through native forest, we enter the tranquillity of the Dandenong Ranges. Mist rises from the forest floor. Late afternoon sunlight dances across ferns. Thick folds of discarded bark hang from pale grey...
When Fact Becomes Fiction

When Fact Becomes Fiction

I was recently interviewed by a journalist about the release of my historical thriller The Engraver. The Dutch edition of De Graveur spins the tale of famous Baroque painter Rubens, his chief engraver Lucas Vorsterman and a stolen treasure. When the journalist asked...
Pumpkin Pies and Sensory Immersion

Pumpkin Pies and Sensory Immersion

Whenever I smell freshly grated nutmeg, my mind takes me to the kitchen of my childhood home. My dad and I stand side-by-side with our sleeves rolled up, wearing aprons: he mixes canned pumpkin with eggs, cream, brown sugar and spices, while I roll out pastry for a...

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