This month, Her Cattleman Boss goes on sale in the UK and in North America and online in Australia.
Before I started writing this book early last year, I knew I wanted to write another Outback story and I had been increasingly fascinated by the almost dying art of cattle droving. I'd heard stories that recently, because of the drought and the economic downturn, more and more cattlemen have turned to the "long paddock", as the droving stock routes are called.
In the summer of 07-08, while I was holidaying in the south, I quizzed a cousin who owns a cattle proprety near Roma, in south western Queensland . OK, yes, I cornered the poor guy and drove him mad with my questions about stock routes and droving, but I did ply him with food and drink in return.
And I talked to another writer friend who had reserached aspects of droving, who then sent me maps of actual stock routes so I could plan Kate and Noah's journey authentically. During this time, I was also looking after my granddaughter, who helped me make a collage for the book and who named Noah's daughter Olivia (after one of her schoolfriends). You can see that the maps played a big part in the collage.
A sense of place has always been very important to me in the books that I write and those I read. And I have to have the names right before I can settle into a story. So a huge thanks go to Malcolm Douglas, Gordon Smith and to Lucy... and Olivia.
I hope you enjoy Noah and Kate's adventure!