Why Australia?

June 24, 2011

Of course, when someone asks me why I set my stories in Australia, my first impulse is to say, “Why not?”. I am Australian, after all. But I suppose it’s a valid question since I live in New Zealand (see my DSP bio – yes, these first few posts are being posted while I’m blissfully asleep!), and you would think that I would write about New Zealanders since I’m in contact with them every day. But the thing is, I didn’t grow up here, I came here as an adult in my 30s, so I missed the early-adulthood indoctrination that would have happened if I’d lived in New Zealand then, the absorption of the cultural experiences that would have made me one of them. Even after almost 6 years I remain stubbornly Australian, and I suspect that will be the case even if I live here 66 years. So I accept that and continue to write about Aussies, even though it’s hell when it comes to visiting locations.

Speaking of location visits, I have a confession to make…Burreela is not a real town. Since I’ve had a couple of people try to Google it, it’s best that everyone knows that now. :) Originally, when I started writing Equilibrium, I did intend to set it in an existing place, but nowhere had all the things I wanted in it, and because I don’t live in Australia anymore I couldn’t go on a northern-NSW trek to find somewhere that was close enough to what I wanted. So, from the seeds of frustration over town planning, Burreela grew. Burreela is an amalgamation of several northern-NSW towns, some of which do in fact have family-run cattle stations and monthly fairs, and at least now I won’t ever have to receive an email telling me that the pub I used in my book actually got knocked down 2 years ago.

Sydney, however, is completely real. :) Sydneysider born and bred, that’s me; much of my misspent youth was spent in Kings Cross, so I know that strip like the back of my hand, and I don’t need Google Earth to help me remember it.

4 Responses to “Why Australia?”

  1. LJ LaBarthe says:

    You know I did Google the town. Google helpfully gave me all kinds of suggestions, including a Burger King which… no. XD

    Ah, the Cross. Where’s the nostalgia music? :)

  2. Meredith_Shayne says:

    Someone did tell me that there’s a town in Spain with sort-of similar spelling, but…also no. Heh. But it makes me happy that people are Googling it, because that means that the name sounds real!

    And yes, the Cross. I feel the soundtrack needs to have some Candy Harlots. Definitely.

  3. Beatrice says:

    I love how you made the story take place in Australia. I’ve never been to New South Wales (heck, I’ve never been to Australia itself) so I’m hoping I can pick up a few cultural things from reading your book! :)

  4. Meredith_Shayne says:

    Hi Beatrice, thanks for commenting! DSP was excellent in that they didn’t remove any of the slang, so you might pick up some new expressions. :) I hope you enjoy it, anyway.

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