My new book Indigo Storm was inspired by a road trip I took my partner, Garry and the kids, in July 2015.
Before we left, I had an idea of what story I wanted to tell, but it had been a long time since I’d spent any long periods of time at my childhood home and explored the surrounding areas.
I also wanted to mix the setting up a bit, so I started the story in Jindabyne, NSW, at the base of the mountains. It’s the prettiest little town and we loved the few days we spent there.
Often behind the most beautiful and peaceful settings, there can be turmoil, and that’s where Indigo Storm opens; in this pretty, bustling town, but with the main character, Ashleigh, feeling frightened and anxious .
Domestic violence is something that we hear about every day, and I believe there can’t be enough said and awareness raised on this subject and this is what Ashleigh is facing. As a side note, there is many types of domestic violence. You don’t have to have bruises. You don’t have to be hit. Verbal, emotional and mental are all domestic violence in different forms.
When she leaves her husband, she runs to an even smaller town, called Blinman. Nestled in the Flinders Ranges, Blinman has 18 residents, a general store, pub, a few houses, tennis courts, golf course and disused copper mine, which now hosts tours.
So why did I set my story here?
Well, I’m not really sure, but it jumped out at me as a fantastic place to hide from someone. It’s remote, not too many people know about it and there’s limited mobile and internet range.
This is where Eliza lives – in the units behind the general store.
I wrote a scene about a frost, and how all the pipes froze. This happens! It does!
On the right hand side of this windmill is a set of old, disused sheep yards. I set a scene here… Eliza was visiting a friend and Jacob was teaching her about crutching. Just check out the view – how could I not do something here?
Actually when Mum, Dad, the kids, Garry and I were cruising around just after we left here, we saw three black and white goats, feeding in a creek bed!
Galahs are everywhere! Not that I mind – their screeching always makes me feel like I’m home, but of course, these cheeky characters had to rate a mention. Which they did… A few times!
This is the Wilson Cemetery. It’s long forgotten, but I loved walking around here, reading about families and the stories of the people who were buried here.
Again, I set a scene here, and the kids, which Eliza is governess for, find it frightening and wild. I found it like that too – the wind whistles around the broken headstones and wire and makes a really eerie moaning noise.
I’m really fascinated with the inscription on this stone – if any one can decipher it for me, I’d be really appreciative!
And then we ended up at the Kanyaka ruins. This place is incredible. You can read more about it here and here. I’m sure once you have a read, you’ll understand why some of the history had to be used in Indigo Storm.
Hopefully this will help you visualise some of the place Ashleigh/Eliza will hang out during Indigo Storm. If you’d like more info or to preorder please click here: Indigo Storm