Hi and just taking the time to wish you all the best for 2017. I trust the year brings some sense of fulfillment for you in terms of your personal aspirations and hopes . In saying that, I am aware of the wider world and the impetus for political, social and even economic change that seems to be occurring all around us. While not being immune to it, and hoping that next year brings a greater sense of consistency and optimism, I’ll focus on changes I can have some control over in the hope they may, eventually, affect the bigger picture:  things I can change, manage and adapt rather than worrying about things I have no control over.

And to start the ball rolling, I received the following touching comment from Pauline Walker who lives near Lancelin about my writing.

I have have lived in Western Australia all my life have now read the 3 books you donated and thoroughly enjoyed them.  You are a great writer and spend a lot of attention to detail. Hope you produce many more.

Thanks Pauline not only for the comment, but for taking the time to send it. In reply, kin italics, I sent the following.

In terms of the future, my next novel, which is nearing the end of the first draft, is called “Life Sentence”. If you are interested in knowing more about it, go to www.aussieyarns.com and look under the heading NOVELS. Then go down to the heading of LIFE SENTENCE. There are two entries there that give background. 

And the novel is developing well. I am the point of having shared a rough first draft with two trusted readers, seeking their feedback on the style and sequence of the work to date. I will post another update early in the new year on this website. But much of my enjoyment comes from the research I’ve had to undertake to preserve one of the principles I try to follow in the fiction writing. I’ll explain that principle by copying in another section of my reply to Pauline, in italics below.

I was particularly touched by your comment about “attention to detail”. I’ve always tried to do that by following the advice of an author I once heard speak about writing fiction based on fact. It was simple but powerful. If it’s a fact, don’t change it. If you’re uncertain of the factual base, research until you’re blue in the face and then only change it if you have evidence that the fact is incorrect. If it’s not a fact, give your imagination free rein and ‘go for it’. I’ve followed it as much as I can, and am following it scrupulously with “Life Sentence”. The new noveel is set in 1900, starting on Rottnest, then progressing to journey from Rottnest to the Pilbara, and finally, in and around Yindjbarndi Country (Millstream/Chichester National Park) and Roebourne. I’ve spent as much time researching as I have writing, but it’s been hugely enjoyable and very rewarding. Elaine Fry from the West Australian in a recent review of my third novel, “Turn on a Light”, made the comment that my novels seemed to her to be ‘an extension of reality” and I’ve taken that as an apt description and as a compliment.

So in summary, 2016 has, from the point of view of personal literary effort, been very rewarding. “Turn on a Light’ was published and is selling well, Tony and Dale and the wonderful people at Capital Radio 101.7 continue to publicise my work using the Short Stories I write and Paul, our son, reads (see the website), we have many bookings for presentation in 2017 on all three published novels, and “Life Sentence”, the fourth novel, is close to a completed first draft. My aim is to see if I can produce it in 2017 and if not, early in 2018.

Again, all the best for 2017 and hope we catch up soon.