Guest blogger: Darry Fraser
In 1982, I could never have imagined that 34 years later I would be launching my first major novel—the one I had just written.
I was a girlish writer then but I somehow had an intrinsic knowledge of how to put a story together. This novel was first written by hand (in pencil!) in an exercise book in 1982 in Alice Springs.
My PR wrote: ‘Daughter of the Murray will be launched in print on December 15, and the story of the journey the novel itself has taken is almost as powerful as the story of its heroine Georgina Calthorpe.’
After writing my book back in the early ‘80s, I was astonished to see my work mirrored in the popular All the Rivers Run TV series.
I was devastated. It was the story I had written. So I shoved my novel in a bottom drawer, sure that I would be accused of plagiarism and so disappointed that I could probably never publish it.
I continued to pursue and refine my craft through the decades, and had several novels and novellas e-published along with a book of short stories. In more recent years I found a little success with a series of ebooks based on the fictional ‘Australis Island’, three of which will be re-released very soon—Island Proposal, This Time Forever, and The Secret of Berry’s Vineyard—with more to come. Watch this space.
In 1994, I pulled the novel out and transcribed it into a computer and in 1998, while living at a secluded beach near Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island, I decided to start working on it again. I kept going back to it, back to my core, which seems to be the larger type of story.
I took my manuscript to the annual Romance Writers Australia conference in 2015. It had already undergone a professional manuscript assessment and survived a very strong Beta reader, but I lacked the confidence to pitch it to the publishers at the first opportunity.
Then the second open-pitch session opened and I was propelled to do it… that’s the only way I can describe it. So I registered. Harlequin Mira’s Head of Publishing Sue Brockhoff asked for the whole 107,000 words and now … it’s in print.
How excited am I? I do hope you enjoy it.
Thank you for having me!
Daughter of the Murray
1890s, River Murray, Northern Victoria
Georgina Calthorpe is unhappy living with her indifferent foster family the MacHenry’s in their crumbling house on the banks of the River Murray.
Unlike the rest of the family, she isn’t looking forward to the return of prodigal son Dane. With good reason. Dane MacHenry is furious when on his return he finds his homestead in grave decline. Unaware that his father has been drinking his way through his inheritance, he blames Georgina and Georgina decides she has no option but to leave. Unfortunately she chooses Dane’s horse to flee on, and when Dane learns she has stolen his prized stallion, he gives chase.
From this point their fates become intertwined with that of a businessman with a dark secret, Conor Foley, who offers Georgina apparent security: a marriage with status in the emerging nouveau-riche echelons of Melbourne. But none of them could imagine the toll the changing political and social landscape would have on homes, hearts and families.
Will Georgina’s path lead her into grave danger and unhappiness, or will she survive and fulfil her destiny?