Lately I’ve been…

Haven’t posted for ages, sorry. I think the pandemic ate my brain.

Don’t know about you, but all through our many lockdowns I found it hard to read, hard to write, and hard to focus. My teaching work has been demanding, with the sudden shift to online and everything else going on (remind me not to volunteer to write any more academic articles this year!).

But I have been chipping away at a few writing projects and right now I’m on my Creative Fellowship at Varuna, the national writer’s house, so I’m ploughing through stuff.

Front view of Varuna writer's house
Gorgeous, wintry Varuna

Here’s what I’ve been working on lately:

Fine Eyes: Miss Caroline Bingley, Private Investigator

I’ve told you this before, but I’ve been collaborating (for the first time) on an Austen-inspired crime novel, with playwright and Austen expert Sharmini Kumar. We’ve had great fun testing out our Regency research and plotting mysteries, and we’re nearly done. I know a few people who write collaboratively, and it’s been such an interesting way to work – especially during lockdown.

Wildfall

Wildfall is a YA historical fantasy novel – I mean, it’s fantasy, set in an imagined world, but influenced by the history of eighteenth century Europe. Sort of. Except with giant eagles. I’m in the late stages of drafting.

Roar

What I’m working on here at Varuna is Roar, a YA novel set in the 1980s in London and then in Africa, and especially Apartheid-era South Africa. I wrote a solid draft a while ago, on a May Gibbs Trust Fellowship in Canberra, and then undertook another round of research in South Africa, but then had to put it aside when the pandemic struck – like just about everything else. But I’m enjoying revisiting it now, and hope to have a final draft by the end of my time here.

Lion on a high hill
Lion – Pilanesberg National Park, 2019

They’ll be a while yet, but I can’t wait to share these novels with you.

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