Karly Lane is a bestselling Australian author who loves writing stories set in rural Australia. She is a wife, mother, and collector of horses living on the mid-north coast of NSW. To coincide with my review of her latest release Someone Like You we have a guest post talking a little about the inspiration for the book.
I often get asked how I come up with ideas for my novels and it’s different every time. Sometimes an idea comes to me from daydreaming during a long car trip, (blocking out the fighting kids in the backseat) once, I read an old newspaper clipping from a tragedy that happened in my town in 1920 and knew I needed to write a story based on actual events. Other times, I have absolutely no idea where the ideas come from, they just appear.
A few years ago, I was invited to a writer’s festival in St Albans where I was fascinated by the history of the area. Places were so much older than where I lived, further up the coast and not settled until many years after the first fleet arrived. I love history, and old buildings in particular always manage to spark my imagination. But I think it was a visit to a tiny cemetery while there that really began brewing this book. On many of the graves were little plaques stating that the person buried there was a first fleet arrival. First. Fleet. This really blew me away. There was just so much early history, everywhere you looked.
I had a few other books to finish before I could write a new one, and the St Albans book sort of settled in the back of my mind, waiting for a chance to fit in somewhere. When it eventually came time to start a new book, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write. I guess in the back of my mind, things had been mulling over. I decided to make my character a writer, for lack of any better idea at the time, and that she’d most likely be starting over somewhere new. A tree change of sorts. It was the perfect opportunity to use the St Albans area and slowly the storyline began to take shape.
How many times have you read articles about city people selling up and moving to the country? It always sounds so romantic and adventurous, doesn’t it? For my character, Hayley Stevens, it was more of a case of starting over, somewhere new… only the small colonial village of Lochway didn’t feel new. It felt like she’d finally come home. However, it’s not all smooth sailing. The idea of a friendly little country town, where she could meld seamlessly into her new community came with a few hiccups… namely that she wasn’t automatically accepted into the fold and it was quite a rude shock to realise she was very much an outsider.
Sometimes the expectation we have of something is actually nothing like the reality, and it can often make us question the decisions we make, but like all big life changes, sometimes you just have to try a bit harder to make it work, and sometimes, those decisions turn out to be even better than we expected.