It is with great pleasure that I announce that my new novel, Keeper of the Way, is nearly here! The cover was revealed last week and the book will be available for purchase next week. Pre-orders are available now from my publisher, Odyssey Books.
Keeper of the Way is book one of a three book series collectively title, Crossing the Line, which explores history, time, women’s magic, myth, journey, and connection; wrapped up in a fictional adventure in Sydney of 1882.
Book one brings arcane magic and a struggle for power to the streets of Sydney, past and present. Inspiration for this story came from research into Sydney history (in particular, the mystery of the great Garden Palace fire in September 1882). Scottish and Irish immigrants from the period have been given renewed life through storytelling and as fictionalised characters. The series title refers to the crossing of the equator by ship, the crossing from one world into another, and from old paradigms into new.
As with any historical fiction, a lot of research has gone into finding characters, current affairs, setting, and voices. I’ve delved into the databases of Trove, dug around the layers of news, advertising, and general chit-chat to provide realistic and fairly accurate background, and looked further afield to discover what life was like for ordinary people, European and indigenous in that time period. My aim is to give voice to the people who are most often left out of general history books (and news of the time), and to focus the story on strong female characters.
Of course, I do like a good adventure, so I’ve pitted my strong women up against evil, magic, and corruption, and armed them with wit, knowledge, and ability to join together in an equally strong circle.
I also like to travel and explore so the series will journey from Scotland to Australia and possibly back. I’ve borrowed from Irish and Scottish mythology and placed them, along with the people who followed their traditions in a strange and foreign Land.
I’m off to the Cornwall and the Outer Hebrides soon for some location research so expect to see those locations feature in the next two stories.
The hardest part of writing Crossing the Line has been to not finish it too soon, to develop a story-line across multiple books. It’s not been easy and plenty of times the thought that I’d bitten off more than I could chew has threatened to intrude. I’ve been busy plotting though and I’m fairly sure I have it worked out.
Now, just to get on with the writing side of things…
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