Tuesday Book Club: Darry Fraser’s Daughter of the Murray
I’m always delighted when a terrific author friend has a new release. Darry Fraser and I became friends through the Romance Writers of Australia (and Facebook, of course!) and yesterday marks the publication day of her first major publisher release, Daughter of the Murray.
Set in the 1890s, this story has charm and adventure as well as a feisty heroine who is looking toward a new era where women are fully enfranchised. If you love All The Rivers Run by Nancy Cato, you’re sure to enjoy Darry Fraser’s story.
What were you like at school?
I was interested, but often was the new kid so I always had a bit of trouble finding a gang and fitting in. I loved History and English and excelled in both, but the sciences and anything to do with numbers completely bamboozled me.
What inspired you to write?
I honestly don’t know. There’s never been a time in my life when I haven’t told stories, and written them down when I learned how. I’ve been told that I would tear the pages of a book to find where the characters were hiding …
Which writers inspire you?
Those who have a very smooth style. And there are many across all genres. I’m not much of a classics fan, but I love those tales once they’re movies. My fave authors would be Harlen Coben, Lisa Gardner, lots of our own Aussie authors, and I’ve just recently very much enjoyed one of Bronwyn Parry’s. Anne Romer is another who springs to mind.
What inspired you to write Daughter of the Murray?
The River Murray itself, and of course the role women played in late 19th century Australia. As a much younger person (I was 25 or so when I wrote the first draft), I was fascinated with women’s journey to equality and the 1890s in Victoria seemed a good place as any to start to learn.
How much research do you do?
I have probably done quite a bit, but now there is so much information that we already have at our fingertips that delving too deep wasn’t an issue. Things like when the droughts occurred, water levels etc – they took a bit of sorting out. Over the years I guess it amounts to a fair bit of research. Thank heavens for the internet.
Can you give us a blurb to let us know what the story is about?
1890s, River Murray, Northern Victoria
On the mighty Murray, trade and livelihoods could be won or lost on a game of cards.
Young, enterprising and eager to fulfil her passions, Georgina Calthorpe yearns for independence from her foster family, the MacHenrys on Jacaranda. She’s wary of Dane MacHenry, the eldest son, summoned home by his scheming, drunken father, Tom.
Dane finds Jacaranda, his inheritance, in grave decline and he blames Georgina and her step-father in England. Georgina flees on Dane’s prized stallion after the family reveals it can no longer support her. When Dane learns she’s stolen the horse, tempers boil over and he gives chase.
But Georgina eludes him and has rushed to find her enigmatic riverboat tycoon, Conor Foley, a businessman with a dark secret. Conor has promised her a better life – marriage with status in the emerging nouveau-riche of Melbourne.
No one could imagine the toll the changing political and social landscape would have on home, heart and family. Does her decision to marry hold grave danger and lifelong unhappiness, or can she survive without needing another to fulfil her destiny?
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
Georgina has to learn the difference between survival and independence in her time. It’s not as if she’s a 21st century woman in period costume – there were great restraints on women in the day and even someone pointing the proverbial finger at you could land you in jail, and destitute if you didn’t have a man or family to support you.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from Daughter of the Murray?
I’ll have to go look some up! Maybe pick from the Logie nominees. I don’t know any upcoming Aussie youngsters and I’d rather them than some celebrity American.…
What book/s are you reading at present?
I’ve got a list of TBRs so I’ll have to pint a stick at one of them and go for it. I’ve just finished house a Jennie Jones, so I might take up a DB Tait to shift focus a bit. Then again, head around to the latest Annie Seaton or a Susanne Bellamy. Or dare I say – an Elizabeth Ellen Carter (you’re too kind! – EEC). I enjoy Kathryn Ledson and Kathryn Fox, too. So many to choose from!
What writing project are you working on next?
I recently counted that I’ve written 11 full manuscripts, 9 of which have been published, but none of them currently available. So I’m re-releasing three at the moment while waiting for Daughter of the Murray to be released. Others will follow. I have the second in the historical series finished and waiting in the wings with a publisher; a rural romance receiving an extra 30k word story arc, and 5 unfinished projects. I’ll never be out of work! I might not be earning anything but I’ll always be busy.
Tell us something unique about you that they wouldn’t guess from just looking at your photograph?
That I’m not photogenic! (Rubbish! You’re gorgeous! – EEC)
What is your favourite positive saying?
Magic is in every day..
What is your favourite book and why?
Mists of Avalon. Because the whole Arthurian saga is an intriguing story, and because Marion Bradley captures the mystery and romance of Earth as mother
What is your favourite quote?
‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.’ Goethe. It is my mantra.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Gone With The Wind springs to mind almost always. (The book is a close second to Mists of Avalon.) Sweeping tale of love, war, degradation, humanity in all its wonder and misery.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
• Twitter: @darryfraser
• Booktopia: http://bit.ly/2foNIOq
Amazon.com Kindle: http://amzn.to/2fVRJOV
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2fVVgg1
Thank you so much for having me, Elizabeth. (It’s always a pleasure! EEC)
Experience A Little Magic This Christmas
Amateur detective, aspiring lawyer, reluctant fiancee… Caro Addison is going to need to pull a magic trick of her own to rescue this Christmas!