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Guest blogger: Annie Seaton

11 August 2019

Loving to travel this beautiful land of ours and setting off for our first extended trip in 2013 has had an unexpected, yet happy, outcome. That first trip to the Northern Territory resulted in my falling into a new genre and Harper Collins have now tagged me as an author of eco-adventure romance!

I still remember the moment when I had my first idea about using Australian landscapes as a character in my stories. I was in a boat on the South Alligator River in Kakadu National Park and saw the most spectacular sunset … a Kakadu Sunset. As many of my readers will know that was my first book that explored environmental issues. It’s been followed by books set in the Daintree, the East Kimberleys, the Whitsundays and more recently Undara. My next book involved research on a commercial fishing boat, and we have recently been to Alice Springs to research the book after next.

Being a historian, I have really enjoyed including a historical timeline in my most recent books, and the joy of travelling to these locations, and then indulging in my passion for historical research makes for a wonderful author life.

Raising awareness of contemporary issues that threaten these locations is another positive outcome from my stories. I also love taking my readers on an armchair journey to these settings as they may never have the opportunity of travelling to these remote locations.

Undara was another location that I fell into accidentally … woops, am I giving away a part of the story there?

We were travelling along the Savannah Way and heading for the Daintree (in between the research for Daintree and Diamond Sky) and stopped at a caravan park for the night. We discovered that the park ran tours to Undara and signed up for one.

Wow! What an incredible, amazing place that is not well known in Australia! The lava tubes are the result of a volcanic eruption over 130 million years ago. When the guide mentioned that many of the tubes have never been entered by humans and may house all sorts of undiscovered plants and species my story was born. Another book was on the way.

When I plan my stories, I begin with a landscape, then I find an issue that threatens it, and then I populate with my characters who are on a journey of self-discovery, solving a problem or, in Emlyn’s case, recovering from a tragic incident.

I loved writing this story, and it has had a wonderful reception in its first weeks out in the reading world. The word is spreading about Undara, the place, to the point that the Undara Experience have donated a prize to celebrate the release of the book. It will be drawn in October and they have kindly offered:

  • 1 night’s accommodation for 2 adults in a railway carriage room
  • 1 Wildlife at Sunset tour for 2 adults
  • 1 Archway Explorer lava tube tour for 2 adults
  • bush breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 adults

You can read a sneak peek here and contest details will be posted there soon!

Thank you, lovely readers. Comment below and tell me where you would like to see a story set in the future.

Undara

Within the treacherous caves of Undara, a betrayal will test the bonds of friendship and family. A page-turning new eco-adventure for readers who love Di Morrissey.

When entomologist Emlyn Rees arrives at Hidden Valley she wants nothing more than to escape her marriage breakdown by burying herself in the research team’s hunt for new species of insects in the depths of the dramatic Undara lava tubes. However, little does she suspect she will be the key to solving a mystery that’s more than one hundred years old.

Travis Carlyle is initially resistant to letting some city folks tramp over his cattle station, but soon the researchers’ findings and a growing friendship with Emlyn bring opportunities to turn around his struggling farm. With a broken marriage behind him and children to care for, Travis needs to plan for the future and this could be his family’s best chance.

But when things start going wrong for the farm and around the dig site, Emlyn and Travis are at a loss to understand why. Are they cursed with bad luck, or is there a more sinister force at play? Are the tall tales of enigmatic stockman Bluey turning true? As the unseen saboteur grows bolder, Emlyn and Travis are caught in a race against time to save the station … and their lives.

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