Well this feels kind of awkward, talking about myself, but I’ll give it my best shot…
I was born in Melbourne in 1969 but I’m a country girl at heart. We lived in an outer suburb so I spent my early years riding my bike up and down the dirt road in front of our house, making cubby huts in the bush or trying to catch yabbies in the creek at the bottom of the hill. On weekends, we’d go up to the family farm in the Dandenong Ranges. When I was 8, my parents transplanted our family to tropical north Queensland, long before making a sea change became fashionable. My dad went from being an accountant to owning and operating a cruise boat in the Whitsunday Islands beside the Great Barrier Reef. My brother and I got horses and joined the pony club so my childhood was full of swimming, snorkeling, sailing and riding horses through the surrounding rainforest, endless cane fields and cattle country.
Those formative years instilled in me a love of the great outdoors and provided plenty of scope for daydreaming during long horse rides through the countryside. My love of romance started early too. My grade 3 “boyfriend” had just emigrated from England – I thought his English accent was just lovely and he lived in a castle! True story. His father built the family a castle complete with a moat, drawbridge and turrets. Sigh…
After meeting and marrying my husband, we headed west, living for a time in Darwin before settling permanently in Western Australia where vast spinifex deserts, an endless coastline and rugged rocky ranges replaced the tropical playground of my youth. We both have itchy feet and over the years we’ve travelled all over Australia and SE Asia, but our favourite places are the wide open spaces of Australia’s amazing outback. Both our kids were introduced to the outback before they were out of nappies and now as teenagers, they think nothing of setting off on a 3,000km road trip across the country.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write; anything from random musings, short stories, essays and novels. I wrote and illustrated my first book about a girl and a wild horse when I was 10 or 11 and thanks to mum saving it, I still have it. I never thought about trying to get published but when a colleague casually mentioned his wife had self-published a book, I thought well why not?
I published my first book in 2014 and have since written and published five more novels, drawing inspiration from places that I’ve lived or visited. The Molly Downs Outback Romance Series is set in the incredible Kimberley region of north Western Australia, my all time favourite place. I provide the setting but my characters always end up telling their own story, regardless of how I initially imagined them. It’s always a pleasure to meet them and a little sad to let them go, but now and again they make a cameo appearance in another novel.
I really hope you’ll enjoy getting acquainted with my characters too!