Guest blog: Karly Lane, North Star

Karly Lane has been on my radar since Red Dust was published. She popped up on my Facebook page periodically and I’ve watched as she’s sold her books to E-publishers. It was obviously only a matter of time before she was picked up by a mainstream publisher… Which she now has!

Allen and Unwin are publishing North Star and it hits the shelves next week:


Since her divorce a year ago, Kate Thurston feels like she’s lurched from one disaster to another. Her teenage daughter, Georgia, seems to have morphed into a monster overnight, and her son Liam breaks her heart with his sad brown eyes.
When Kate receives news that her grandfather has bequeathed her North Star, the vast property that has been in her family for generations, it feels like the perfect opportunity to flee the hectic pace of city life for a calmer rural existence.
As soon as she arrives at North Star, however, Kate realises she’s going to need every ounce of determination to restore the rundown homestead to its former glory and fulfil her dream of turning it into a bush retreat. And as for the farm, well it’s in utter disarray.
As she starts to make headway with the homestead’s restoration, and falls for a local bloke, Kate finally feels like life is going right for her. Then her ex-husband comes to town and triggers a series of events that will change her life forever …
In the tradition of Fleur McDonald and Rachael Treasure, with dollops of mystery and lashing suspense suspense, North Star will have you reading through the night.

Here’s Karly:

It’s so exciting to be here—not to mention a touch surreal! It wasn’t all that long ago when I’d picked up a copy of Red Dust from my local book store and lost myself in a fantastic Australian story, sighing as I finished and trying to imagine what it must feel like to have a book published…and here I am, being hosted by Fleur McDonald, talking about my very own book!

North Star is my first Australian published novel with Allen & Unwin and although it certainly feels like a whirlwind rise to the top—it’s actually taken me a little over eleven years to get here!

I started out writing romantic suspense, but have recently turned to rural fiction—my first love of all the genres I read. I’ve always loved Australian stories, set in Australian settings and credit The Thorn Birds with being the book that started my love affair with reading and ultimately, writing.

My love of the country stems from a life of living in small rural towns in both Queensland and New South Wales and while North Star  is set in Central Queensland, and pivots, primarily, around a large property, my stories are a little less farming orientated, than a lot of the authors, I read and adore, who also write rural fiction.

I’ve been asked where the inspiration for North Star came from and even though it’s a work of fiction, there are in fact, a few parallels to my own life in there. Looking back, it was probably very therapeutic to write!

In the opening scene, Kate and her two children are traveling toward an uncertain future. In my own life, recently divorced, I too packed up a house and moved with three children from Townsville, back to my home town—a  three day car trip away. It was both a scary and exhilarating experience. As a recently single mother, making decisions became a gut wrenching, often painful, task. Every decision you make effects not only your life, but three other lives as well, and that places a tremendous amount of pressure upon a person. Self doubt, guilt and just plain exhaustion, became constant companions. But as horrible as this time of my life sometimes was, it taught me a lot about myself. I realized I could do things I previously would never have believed I could accomplish on my own.

Unlike my life, Kate’s was full of family secrets and a rather miserable childhood, and she returns to the home she ran from at sixteen, now a fully grown woman, and mother with children of her own.

When I first began writing North Star, I didn’t plan on having a romantic interest involved, but a man pestered to make an appearance, and so, queue John Cafferty! I’m so glad I listened to him when he insisted Kate’s already complex life needed the further complication of a man! I sincerely hope you all fall for John as hard as I did!

North Star is a  story about relationships, families, and one woman’s journey as she faces her past in order to move on with her future, I hope you get as much enjoyment reading it, as I did writing it.

Comments 0

  1. Am off to town to see if I can snag myself a copy. Maybe it’ll be there early? Here’s hoping anyway. Great blog girls 🙂

  2. Hi Mandy. Rachael, Margareta and Carol. Thanks for dropping by!
    I hope you like it Carol, it’s certainly a book I loved writing.
    Fingers crossed it’s there for you Margareta! I can’t wait to see it on the shelf!
    It’s certainly rural fictions year isn’t it Rachael! My poor old book case is groaning under the weight of all the new releases this year!
    Not long until yours comes out Mandy! Can’t wait to read it!

  3. Thanks Fleur & Karly for a great blog. xx Your life experiences tell me that your book is going to be so full of emotion and believable characters, Karly. I can’t wait to read it. Enjoy every moment of this, you’ve earned it!

  4. Hey Karly and Fleur!
    Karly, am looking forward to buying and reading your book – maybe I can pick up a copy at ARRA this weekend.
    Can’t wait to see you again!
    Fleur, we’ll miss you!
    Lisa xx

  5. Hey K (thx for hosting Fleur). Karly…ahem…Karlene LOL I learned something about you i did not know reading your post just now. I know North Star will be a wonderful read. Well done, you, and thank you for your friendship and inspiration.

  6. Hi ladies, interesting to learn more about Karly. I love your earlier books, Karly, so I’m looking forward to North Star:-) Thanks to you, Fleur and Fiona Palmer I’ve discovered the joy of outback romances!

    Look forward to catching up on the weekend at ARRC 2011. Sorry you won’t be there, Fleur…

  7. I am new to the rural romances but am hooked, I just cant put them down.. I loved Blue skies and an am 1 chapter from finishing North Star…. Looking forward to Red Dust too!! Thank you for the wonderful writing and taking me to the places you write about, i completely lose myself and feel like i am in these peoples lives…

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