Today I am thrilled to have Nicole Alexander, a fellow rural fiction author, here to answer a few questions about herself and her life as a bestselling author and farmer. Her two books, The Bark Cutters and A Changing Land have pride of place on my book shelf. I admire Nicole’s work as an author. She is extemely gifted in the art of telling captivating Australian stories.
Welcome Nicole and thanks for being my guest today on Awesome Aussie Authors.
Where were you born,raised, schooled?
I was actually born in Sydney (my mother was still in her street clothes I was in that much of a rush) although home, a mixed agricultural property is 100 kmwest of Goondiwindi in northern NSW; 750km from Sydney. Isolation has a bearing on everything out here whether it be medical or otherwise. My family have been on our property since 1893 so every generation has had a governess of some sort followed by boarding school. I was taught Correspondence School (lessons via the mail), followed by a couple of years at a local primary school, then boarding school in Sydney. My degrees include a Master of Letters from Central Queensland University.
How long did it takeyou to get published and how did you feel when you were told you had a contract?
I’ve been writing for about twenty years with my publishing credits including; newspaper / travel / short stories/genealogy and poetry. It’s always fabulous when you have a piece published and with two non-fiction works behind me and two novels the thrill never lessens.I’ve been extremely fortunate in that my work regardless of genre has alwaysbeen taken up pretty quickly. Fingers crossed that continues!
What time of the day/night do you prefer to write?
I’m a morning person however I do work full time on the station which makes ordered writing time impossible. I definitely don’t have a 9-5 job.
Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming book? And what date it will be released?
My third rural novel is titled Absolution Creek and will be released around spring 2012. This work has an interweaving narrative spanning two timelines 1923 and 1965. I like using this narrative technique as I feel it’s a great tool when it comes to emphasising the sense of continuity and attachment that is associated with generational properties. AbsolutionCreek is based on a story my grandfather told my father in the 1950s; a child fell from theback of a wagon at the turn of the century on the Garah Plains (an area 50 km to the south east of our property) and was never found. Such events were quite common apparently.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
My environment plays a significant part in my current writing however I am also fortunate in having a large amount of archival material to draw from. In Absolution Creek apart from the actual concept (see above) I used an Anthony Hordern’s Mail Order catalogue dated 1923 to research period detail. My own family ordered everything from monthly groceries, to saddlery to furniture from it. There are also paddock and stock books and weather and supply records going back to the 1880s.
What is your favourite meal?
Hmm; as a Hereford producer I have to say steak would be number one however I’ve always been a huge pasta fiend.
Who is your favourite Australian?
Everyone brings a unique flavour to our fabulous country!
Where would be your ideal place to holiday?
Anywhere! Some years I get a holiday, others I don’t. This January (2012) I went to Hawaii for a wedding which was fun while in 2008 I went to Greece for a month. Now that was great.
Thank you, Nicole, for giving us an insight into your writer’s life. It's been a pleasure having you as my guest today and I'm really looking forward to the release of Absolution Creek. As with your last two books, I know I won’t be able to put it down.
You can visit Nicole Alexander at her website
Next week our Awesome Aussie Author is Ally Blake, whose novels are fun, fresh and flirty. Ally's twenty novels have been published in over 30 international markets with over 2 million books sold worldwide! She is a very interesting lady so make sure you pop on by to find out about her novels and her life as a bestselling author.
Thought for this week
“When you are truly comfortable in your own skin, not everyone will like you, but you won’t care one bit!”
Until next week, keep dreaming and smiling