Not-So-Straight Sue

Charity Sunday: The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

A few weeks ago, the very wonderful Lisabet Sarai posted an excerpt of one of her books on her blog. For every comment she received within the first twenty-four hours, she donated $1 to her nominated charity, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It’s a bloody marvellous idea.

Lisabet is doing it again and this time other people are joining in. Including me. Here’s how it works. Leave a comment on this post on Sunday, 9 July 2017. I will donate $1 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia for every comment received on that day. You don’t have to say much at all–just say “Hi” if you want. As I’m in Australia, our Sunday is before most of the world’s, so I’ll leave it open until 11.59pm Pacific time in the US.  That’s all you have to do. You don’t have to donate; I’ll do that. Continue reading “Charity Sunday: The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia”


I love, love, love roadtrips. I love the road unfurling beneath the tyres, and looking around the towns and villages I pass through. I particularly love those long stretches of landscape that you can get on Australian roadtrips with few signs of civilization.

droverMost of our roadtrips are done in a very basic way: a four wheel drive with a platform bed in the back, a fridge, a camp stove, and a couple of chairs and a table. The small and unobtrusive nature of the four wheel drive allows us to take very small tracks, and camp in very out of the way places, just pulling over quietly beside a track. In thirty years of doing this, we’ve only been moved on a couple of times, but our footprint is small: no tents, no paraphernalia strewn over a wide area and no campfire.  I don’t think it would work to travel that way if we weren’t unobtrusive.

The other sort of roadtrip I love are campervan ones. We don’t own a campervan, but we often do campervan relocations. The companies that hire these mobile homes often need them moved from city to city. In Oz, typically at this time of year, they need them moved south as people want to drive north for the winter.  For as little as $1 a day, we rent a van and have a few days to drive it to where it needs to be. We drove from Brisbane to Adelaide (about 2,200 kilometres) in a week, passing through the outback communities and the mining town of Broken Hill (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert anyone?). We’ve gone from Airlie Beach to Brisbane, and several times we’ve done the Brisbane to Sydney run.

I’m just back from such a trip. We had four days to drive the 1,000 kilometres to Sydney, which is a nice cruisy pace. The van was super-comfy, and easy to drive, and we took a winding route, part inland, part coastal, to reach the metropolis.

I can usually write on the road too. With one of those laptables, and a small laptop, I can usually average a thousand words on a stretch of smooth highway. It’s not as easy as at home–there’s always bumps and resultant typos, drama when something gets accidentally highlighted and deleted, and of course the distractions out of the window.  I averaged 1,500 words a day on the most recent trip.

Not-So-Straight-Sue-300x200The main character in my novel Not-So-Straight Sue buys a campervan and takes a winding trip around the Queensland outback before reaching the small town that will be her new home. Certainly, my campervan trips were the basis for writing Sue’s experiences on the road. Sue’s trip, though, is part of her story of coming to terms with her identity and accepting herself. Each kilometre of dusty road settles the landscape deeper into her psyche, each long night of solitude and stars reaffirms her decision to return to Australia.

You can read about Sue’s campervan trips in Not-So-Straight Sue which is available from Ylva Publishing and the usual suspects. You can also hear me read an excerpt from the book on Bookchats, part of The Lesbian Talkshow podcast.

My own campervan stories pop up from time to time. I’m only back home for two days, but I’m already planning the next one.

“Not-So-Straight Sue” is available from Ylva Publishing and from:

Book Clips: Not-So-Straight Sue

Not-So-Straight-Sue-300x200Listening to books. It seemed strange to me at first. After all, the voice of a narrator can’t compare to the voice in your head as you curl up in silence with a good book. I’m still not on board with audiobooks (although they’re tempting me more and more), however I do love book clips read by the author.

It’s great (and sometimes unexpected) to hear what an author sounds like. The voice that produced the stories I love. Different accents, different intonations, faster, slower, the smile in an author’s voice or the sombre cadence as they read something more weighty.  I very much enjoy these, and have often gone on to buy the book after hearing the clip.

If you know lesfic, you doubtless know The Lesbian Review.  I often check out their reviews and top ten lists when I’m pondering what to read next.  And their podcast, the Lesbian Review Talk Show, has the book clips segment that I love to listen to.

Now, if you’re so inclined, you can once again hear my strange mix of accents reading from my novel, Not-So-Straight Sue.   The romance, set in outback Australia, has an American character, but don’t worry, I don’t attempt a Texan accent! You’ll have to listen to my blend of Aussie, with a bit of Brit,  reading a very Australian story about an Australian lawyer and a Texan doctor.

Please do check it out at The Lesbian Talk Show. I hope you enjoy it.

Want to know more about Not-So-Straight Sue?  Check out the review over at The Lesbian Review.

You can purchase Not-So-Straight Sue from the following places:

Ylva Publishing



Not-So-Straight Sue


I seem to have been sitting on this book forever, but it’s finally here. Not-So-Straight Sue is now available directly from Ylva Publishing. It’s a story about coming out, friendship, lawyers, doctors, the Australian outback, dogs, family, small towns, ex-girlfriends, finding your place in life, horses, rural life, wine-drinking, stripteases, campervans, star gazing, horse riding, Waltzing Matilda, and of course love and sex. Lots of love and sex. Continue reading “Not-So-Straight Sue”

I am not a city person

20160427_062356I am so not a city person. Sure, I’ve spent a lot of my life in cities–work has a way of doing that to you–but equally, I’ve lived in small towns, medium towns, and spent a lot of time on the road travelling. But where I’m happiest, in a zen-at-one with-the-world, embracing-the-landscape sort of way, is where things are hot and dry and there’s not many people. The space. The dryness. The sweep of stars at night. Being able to see to the horizon and then some.

Many people seem to get that from the sea. But unless you’re on the ocean in a small boat, coastal areas around the world tend to be some of the most populated. And it is my nightmare to be stuck on a small boat with a bunch of people and nowhere to escape. I’m not that good a swimmer.

Continue reading “I am not a city person”

Cover Reveal: Not-So-Straight Sue

You know you’re busy when your partner has to ask you three times if you want a glass of wine and you just. haven’t. heard.

That’s what it’s been like in the Blue House on the Hill these last few weeks.  Sure, there’s a lot of the usual crap going down that anybody you ask will also be bogged in up to the oxters (Oxters. Lovely word. Needs a revival) but I’ve been running around like a headless chook with writing things. Which is a lot better than day job things, and administrivia (although one of these days I really must finish my tax return before the Australian Tax Office comes a-knocking).

Continue reading “Cover Reveal: Not-So-Straight Sue”

2015 in review


2015 was a good year in many ways for me.  It brought much pleasure and achievement, much laughter and good times.

I continue to live in south east Queensland, one of the most beautiful parts of Australia.  I live in a rural community, in a house perched on the side of a hill with views forever (that’s the view above on a misty morning).  The joy and inspiration this setting brings cannot be underestimated.  I love the sub-tropical climate, the ability to grow my own vegetables and source much of what we eat from local small producers.  So much better than the mass production supermarkets, with their dubious ethics and lack of accountability. Continue reading “2015 in review”

First Drafts

I’ve been a bit quiet lately, although you would be forgiven if you said, “So? What’s different?” Continue reading “First Drafts”

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