‘Oh, yes, I almost forgot. She was a writing phenomenon.’

In 1932, Enid Blyton wrote a 90,000 word novel in a month for adults titled ‘The Caravan Goes On’. It was never published so I’ve purloined the title for our book tour next month…actually, the title could very well suit me for some time to come.

** note to self: organising a book tour in five main shopping centers on the east coast of Australia at Christmas is not one of your better ideas, Hammo…

Today, the east coast of Australia and tomorrow who knows?? That’s the good thing about caravan book tours…they need never end…except for the fact that I’m traveling with kids, dogs, cat and cantankerous Cracker aboard.

**note to self: brothers and sisters should never lock themselves  in caravans together for extended periods of time, especially in summer, and especially at Christmas..

The four four P’s of surviving the hair-brained idea of a book tour on the east coast of Australia with kids and animals at Christmas runs like this:

  1.  Planning – complete book tour in three weeks leading up to visiting Cracker and just hand him the cash in an envelope on Christmas Eve…
  2. Preparation – remember that  all the last minute ‘to do’ things on the list are crucial and all of them must happen prior to departure…there’s nothing like the deadline of Santa coming and Cracker waiting under the tree with his hand out to point to the critical issue of time equally days left to actually finish, upload and print the third Cracker & Gilly novel. It’s called incentive…
  3. Promotion – press releases, caravan signage, itinerary and packing boxes and boxes of books in the caravan, keeping in mind weight distribution, tare and making sure the tow ball doesn’t collapse under the weight of my ambitions. **note to self: what does a fully laden caravan weigh with kids, cats, dogs, surfboards, bikes, billy carts and boxes of books actually weigh??
  4. Patience – all good things come to those who wait…and wait…thank you Cracker for your patience…the Cracker & Gilly Mystery Series Book Tour in gathering speed and rolling your way…here’s hoping you and Santa are ready for us. ** note to self: do not, under any circumstances, even in good cheer, especially in good cheer, mention Book 4 until the New Year…nobody, not even Cracker, would deny his family the joy of plotting another mystery in that good old Australian tradition, camping at the Abercrombie…who knows what mischief the Cracker & Gilly team could get up to with a whole new year in front of them??

imageIt’s almost time to hit the road and celebrate the launch of our third Cracker & Gilly Mystery, Merinda’s Gold. Six weeks to go but who’s counting…

Call us intrepid or brave or downright foolish but we’re off to the place where Cracker and Gilly manage to get themselves into – and out of – so much trouble with the help of Cracker’s foot soldiers, Trann and Bone.

Two authors setting off on a grand adventure, meandering down the magical Southern New South Wales coastline – well, two authors, two kids, two dogs and a cat – to the the place it all began.

Did I mention the authors are related? That, in fact, all who know them are watching on in glee to see whether the brother and sister authors survive the caravan touring challenge at all. Will there even be a fourth Cracker & Gilly Mystery, they ask?

Bateman’s Bay may never be the same again but rest assured intrepid readers, Book 4 is not only started (well, Cracker’s written a chapter…somewhere…haven’t you Cracker?) but the coast is where we do our best – and only – planning.

Stay tuned for the details…and if you want to interview us, buy our books or set up and author signing just let us know. Otherwise, you’ll find us us the beach.

Bring on summer…



Cracker and Gilly are going to Paris to meet Madeline and dance on the Pont Neuf, the bridge Madeline fell off into the Seine River in “Madeline’s Rescue”. It was the first story I read to my daughters in French and it will be a fitting place to launch our middle grade mystery series on an unsuspecting Parisienne audience next September. So if you see the occasional mot de francaise creep into our blog posts it’s because we’re practising for the big launch. I meet with my translator next week. Le Mystere au Hangar Plage is the working title for the French edition of Forbidden. Roughly translated it means The Mystery at Boatshed Beach.

Originally posted on A Writer's Path:


Welcome to the May 2015 Author Earnings Report. This is our sixth quarterly look at Amazon’s ebook sales, with data taken on over 200,000 bestselling ebooks. With each report over the past year and a half, we have come to see great consistency in our results, but there is always something new that surprises us.

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imageIf you wanna write the best you’ve gotta read the best. Here’s two new additions to our bookshelf.


In ‘Novel Writing, a Writers’ and Artists’ Companion’ Philip Pullman says, ‘Don’t make plans. A plan is not a map, it’s a straitjacket. Your imagination needs the freedom to roam wherever it wants to go, and if you constrain it the book will suffer.’

And I have to agree.

There is so much advice around now in the Indie Publishing world that says outline your novel, fill in the blanks, press ‘publish’, and you will make thousands. Alas, there is little written about the creative process itself in comparison, a process that takes time, lots of it, sweat, lots of that too, and tears…in order to to trust your imagination and give it the freedom to roam you have to step back at see where it takes you…and nobody can sell you anything to make the process any easier.

Remember, the best things in life are free. All they take is time, hard work and tears…there are no shortcuts.


Times sure have changed. A research trip to hunt down archival material used to take me weeks of self-indulgent white-gloved hiding out in the dungeons of one or other of the State Libraries dotted around our vast coastline, turning page after fragile page of old journals, records and obscure newspaper accounts of little remembered historical happenings of interest only to the social history researcher intent on tracking down tidbits to add colour and vibrancy to their latest exotic fiction set in times long past. Stories packed in dusty boxes in the dungeons of libraries, bestowed to crusty keepers of the long forgotten tomes waiting to be repackaged to new audiences only if the writer did the legwork required to find, record and transform such tomes under the bespectacled gaze of the tome keeper – take off white cotton glove to wipe an eye teared over in joy or sorrow at life’s cruel ironies recorded in what is now considered an illegible scrawl but was once the fountain-tipped cursive of educated scribes of our yesteryears? Only if you’re really brave…


Enter Trove – no need to leave the comfort of my study for all but the most intricate detailed research (like obscure newspapers that funding has forgotten and remain only on micro-film in the aforementioned State Library dungeons, caretakered by modern day bespectacled keepers of historical records who also, luckily in my case, have the forethought to view the modern digital record keeping methods with a touch of skepticism).


I was chasing 1890s copies of The Wild River Times, tracking down social tidbits on Carrington, an old timber town of the Atherton Tablelands. The new digitalised system at the Library was unhelpful but my crusty bespectacled librarian came to my rescue. She had a PDF of all the old newspapers available on microfilm ‘just in case’. Lucky me!! I now get to spend the next few weeks in the dungeons of the State Library trawling through micro-filmed copies of 1890s Wild River Times in search of tidbits to bring the world of my Timber Cutter’s Daughter in Carrington, Atherton Tablelands, to life.


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