• Stories that I come across are the best inspiration for me. Writing ‘The Girl from Munich’ I had many of my grandmother’s stories to draw on. But my own family stories aren’t the only inspiration for me. It can be stories that someone tells me down the street, even at the supermarket or over a game of cards. Something that grabs my attention on the news or on a television show, something that I read about or something I’ve experienced myself.

  • Historical documents, letters and photos are wonderful sources of inspiration, especially writing historical fiction. It may be the way someone looks out of a photo, the setting they’re in, gorgeous poetry written to a loved one like I found in my grandmother’s belongings or even finding records of military medals from WW2.

  • I love being surrounded by nature. From the manicured beauty of a Botanical Garden and large parks such as can be found in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands to the rugged Australian bush. Being near water is soothing and peaceful for me, whether it be overlooking the ocean, being near a river or stream or even just a still pond. I feel like I’m in a state of grace surrounded by nature and my creativity flows. Even looking at a picture of a beautiful garden or nature landscape can help unblock the creative flow when I feel stuck with my writing and create the mood that I’m looking for.

  • The changing seasons can inspire me. Every season brings change and not always what you’d expect. That’s what gets me thinking about how the seasons affect my story and characters. Winter is desolate and cold but I love the sculptural beauty of the bare tree limbs in the shades of light and dark bark. Everybody loves Spring (unless you suffer from hayfever!) and who isn’t entranced by the tiny buds of fresh green leaves, the brightly coloured flowers and the spring blossoms. I can’t help but feel happy when Spring comes with the longer days and warmer weather but I love how the weather can change in an instant back to winter and reminds us that summer hasn’t taken hold quite yet. With all sorts of change we find this too, periods where things slip back to where they were before as well as times where optimism abounds as we look to a brighter future. Summer is glorious. I love the hot weather, no more layers of clothing, time to feel free and easy, time for family with Christmas and school holidays. This is the time for me when I research, allow ideas to percolate in my mind and prepare for a busy year ahead of writing new stories. In Autumn, we see the beautiful changes in the colours of the leaves on the trees. The yellows, reds, orange and purple tones are some of my favourite colours but this year the first frost of April was unexpected, swift and sudden, heralding the coming of Winter and captured in this photo when the late roses were still in bloom.

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