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Every Saturday evening I put on my best 20-year-old Doc Martens, my red velvet waistcoat, fine double hunter Victoria hallmarkeked silver pocket watch and off I go to the Royal Hotel…(John, 76, The Sunday Mail, 8 March, 2015)

The letter from John in the Sunday paper had my long suffering daughter scratching through her wardrobe for ‘that velvet and lace stuff you bought at the op-shop’ – she drew a line at the Doc Martens – ‘Mum, I’ve got homework to do, you know.’ But I was determined. I wanted a picture for my blog and a balm for our Sunday drive picnic to the local waterfall gone wrong (sorry, Brisbane, but that ain’t no real waterfall). I wanted romance, dammit, and what could be more romantic than the image of an old gentleman dapperly adorned in a red velvet waistcoat and fob watch? Did I mention my current WIP is an historical romance set in the Far North Queensland tropics where real waterfalls reign?

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Picture the historic Malanda Hotel, a picnic and a grand ball to celebrate the arrival of the first train to ever grace the Atherton Tablelands from Cairns, the building thereof a masterly feat. The year is 1909. I have a setting, an era, a heroine in a lace ball gown and my hero? Yep, he dons a red velvet waistcoat and a silver fob watch. Shame about the Doc Martens but they’ll just have to wait for another story.

References:

Dressed In Fiction, Clair Hughes, 2005

the Australian Novel 1830-1980, John Scheckter, 1998

The Woman’s Historical Novel, Women British Writers, 1900-2000, Diane Wallace, 2005

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