Guest blogger: VK Black
Writer on the road
That’s me at our campsite next to a river in the Pilbara. Nice office, huh? It’s hardly a glamour photograph, but when you go travelling around Australia in a caravan and stay at free camps, glamour takes a back seat. In five months, I wore make-up twice. I’m back home at the moment, but we’re checking out the south-east for this spring. There are a lot of wineries down there with my name on them.
The notepad you can see on the table contains the first draft of Campfire Tales. I always write in longhand. I scrawl, scratch out, finish sentences in the margin, put arrows and asterisks everywhere, and then edit soon afterwards on the computer (or I won’t understand a word I’ve written!). The fully edited version of Campfire Tales, with not an asterisk in sight, was published recently.
Campfire Tales follows the adventures of Ellie and Michael, a young honeymooning couple, as they travel around Australia. While some of the stories have serious themes, most of the tales are light-hearted and fun.
Co-incidentally, Ellie and Michael took exactly the same route around Australia that my husband and I took. All of the stories in this anthology were inspired by little things that happened, snatches of conversations I heard, and people we met. A lady I met at a free camp in the Northern Territory told me the story upon which Karma is based. She’d seen the whole scene unfold—minus Ellie and Michael’s input, of course. Only one tale is almost entirely autobiographical. Cathleen Ross, who edited most of the stories, picked it at once, as the ending was, well, tame. But that’s real life, folks. I left the story in because I thought it was funny. I tell readers which one it was at the end of the anthology.
Campfire Tales is my third collection of sweet but kinda sexy short stories, the other two being A Bubbly Holiday and How to Deal with a Surprise Penis. All of my other books (which you can find on my website) are a tad sexier. ☺
Finally, many, many thanks to my fellow writers on the road, Jenn J McLeod, Annie Seaton and Melinda Hammond, for chatting to me on Facebook while I travelled thousands of kilometres around Australia.
Hawaii? Paris? Goodness, no. On their honeymoon, Ellie and Michael travel around Australia in their battered old land cruiser, sleep in a tent, and don’t mind at all that their air mattress is always flat the next morning. They encounter a gunman at a remote campsite, help a woman dealing with emotional abuse, and meet the warring owners of an amazing caravan.
Our very-much-in-love couple make love, fight, make up, and meet people from all walks of life during their incredible adventure. So sit back with your thermos of coffee (or a glass of wine, if you’re more like Ellie and Michael) and follow our happy couple’s adventures around Australia.