Interview by Sophie Yorkston
Who were your greatest female role models?
I’m presuming you mean writers. Growing up: Joan Aiken, Tove Jansson, Susan Cooper, Andre Norton, Vonda McIntyre, Doris Lessing, Maya Angelou. Now: Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood, Kim Wilkins, Octavia Butler, Margo Lanagan, Connie Willis.
What do you feel is your greatest achievement as a writer to date? Read the rest of this entry
A woman and a boy are travelling alone in hostile Australia, seeking their future in service to an unknown benefactor. It can be a dangerous place to be, the Australian bush, the very place to find ruffians and outlaws. Only with a little help from an unusual friend will Juliana and Arthur make it in this foreign land. SY
Juliana Morris was a long way from home and even further from civilisation according to the poorly-sketched map she’d acquired from the Captain of the Mary Elisabeth. Just follow the river windin’ all the way to Wharftown, he’d said, which seemed like a reasonable proposition, only there hadn’t been any river flowing into the ramshackle port where the captain had set them down. A port so small it didn’t even have a name. Shielding her eyes from the sun’s harsh glare, she surveyed the pitiful landscape with dismay. Everything was covered in a layer of dust. The inhabitants had a hard-bitten look about them. None of the women she passed would return her smile. Juliana’s life in London had been far from luxurious. She hadn’t known what to expect of Australia, but somehow she’d expected more than this.
Juliana and her small son Arthur spent a restless night in a cramped and none-too-clean inn one street back from the docks. The Mary Elisabeth and her captain sailed on the morning tide, leaving them both to fend for themselves in a strange, inhospitable land.