I have always been attracted to idea of someone unearthing secrets from the past. This premise was one of the original inspirations behind Breakaway Creek. When I first began writing it, which was some time ago, I had read only a few books written on a dual time-line. Some had brief sections harking back to an earlier period and one I can recall was written predominately in the historical era.
Since publishing Breakaway Creek, I’ve read several books by Kimberley Freeman which are excellent examples of the dual timeline. I love reading historicals, both romance and mainstream, but the more serious novels in this genre can be heavy and/or confronting. Intertwining the edgier historical setting with a familiar modern one, takes us back to our comfort zone and gives us space to draw breath.
Recently there have been a few releases of this type in the rural romance genre, so it must be growing more popular.
I have always loved writing historical stories with my earlier books, The Cornstalk and A Hidden Legacy, set in the 1870s and 1890s. Breakaway Creek devotes almost equal time to both the present and the historical sections of the story. For me, it is a way of combining my fascination with Australia’s pioneering days with a contemporary story which deals with present-day issues and which is more accessible to many readers. Although I am too fond of modern comforts to want to live in Victorian times, the horse and buggy era lends itself to adventure and to social dilemmas that don’t exist today. In Breakaway Creek the heroine from the 1890s, Emma, falls in love with someone of mixed race. What happens next would be most unlikely to occur today in Australian cultures.
My ancestors on both sides of my family were pioneers in Central Queensland and listening to my parents’ stories about them and ‘the good old days’ sparked my interest in history. Combine that with my love of romance and my childhood on a 47,000 acre cattle station and it is no wonder horses, cattle and rural life in general play a large part in my stories.
Having found a format that works for me, I am writing my next novel in two timelines. Like Breakaway Creek, it will combine romance with adventure, a touch of suspense and family secrets.
Blurb for Breakaway Creek:
Two city women, a century apart, find love and adventure in the Queensland outback.
Betrayed by her boyfriend, Shelley Blake escapes the city on a quest to unravel a century-old family mystery. Her search takes her to a remote cattle station run by Luke Sherman.
Shelley and Luke try to resist their mutual attraction as he fights to reclaim his children from a broken marriage, and Shelley uncovers the truth about her ancestors, Alex and Emma.
Emma’s story of racial bigotry and a love that transcends all obstacles unfolds in the pioneering days of the 1890s.
Shelley and Emma are separated by time but they’re bound by a dark secret to a place called Breakaway Creek.