The Brains

Meet Cal. She’s the brains behind Blue Skies.

When we first started talking about what the next book would hold, we came up with a few ideas.

1. Cal’s house is very old (it was actually the first double-brick home built on farming land in Esperance) and is steeped in history. I can’t remember the year, but she had a flood come though her house in the late 60’s that damaged her floor boards. That got us thinking about floods.

2. We were both set on the idea of twins.

3. There had to be a death! (We’re rather obsessed, Cal and I, with forensic science and bodies!)

4. We are both really interested in history – Cal in particular loves both family and Australian/English history. (Actually, any history!)

I tried to start writing but nothing was sitting right with me. We had planned out chapters, but it wasn’t coming together. I actually almost gave up and decided that it was a fluke I had got a book published and I couldn’t write anything, ever again!

After months of tearing my hair out, things finally began to click. But only after Cal had driven an eight hour drive to her sister’s place and spent the whole time planning a new direction for Amanda. She wasn’t going anywhere in her present form! When she got back from her holiday, we had numerious phone calls, lunches and emails and finally it began to take shape.

With Cal’s tough love: (“Get off the phone and start writing,”) she drew up a family tree for a family that didn’t exist to get the time lines right and right at the end, when I had about a month to go before my deadline, we sat down over lunch one day and planned the last ten chapters.

Blue Skies is as much her story, as it is mine.

My other friend, Gill, was also a huge reason that the book got finished!

Cal and I were pretty happy, last Friday, when we got to catch up and see our work finally finished and in book form.


To win a copy of Blue Skies, can you tell me what Amanda’s horrible job was at the dam? (Answer is in the first two chapters, which are available for download on the right.)

I’ll draw the winner on Sunday night and yes, I post anywhere in the world!

Comments 0

  1. Well done to Cal for doing such a great job helping Fleur. Writing may seem like a one person job but there are many helpers along the way who help us brainstorm. Can’t wait to read it Fleur! x

  2. Hi there Fluer!
    Amanda was put in charge of the horrible job to pull out and bury the two dead ewes from the low and therefore very muddy dam, before the carcasses could further contaminate the water.

    Blue Skies sounds like a very intriguing and mystifying book! I love how you use the country to base your stories. There aren’t many good Aussie novels about life in the bush where it is pretty isolated. I look forward to Blue Skies!!!!

  3. Hi Fluer! I too am eagerly awaiting Blue Skies!..
    Amandas job was to get the dead sheep out of the dam – something I have done aswell and can definately agree that the smell alone is enough to put you off lamb chops for months!! 😉

  4. You’re teasing us, we’re clamping at the bit to get to Blue Skies!
    and like everyone else I’ll say that Amanda’s job was to pull two dead ewes out of the dam, pretty yakky but necessary.

  5. Amanda had to pull 2 dead sheep from the dam

    Fleur
    I finished reading Red Dust last night what a fantastic book I loved it I started it Friday afternoon and finished it Saturday afternoon thanks for a great story. I am really looking forward to Blue Skies and getting to know Amanda

    Have Fun
    Helen

  6. HI Fleur, I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to post the answer on here so I didn’t enter earlier- but she had to pull a dead sheep out of the dam… just one of the many joys of farm life I guess. 🙂 good luck with the big launch, will be thinking of you.
    Karly.

  7. Hi Fleur, The horrible job was to pull the sheep out of the dam!, I enjoyed reading the first two chapters and can’t wait to read the rest of the book.
    Good luck with the launch, it’s a pity its a bit to far for jess and me to come over for!

  8. Amanda’s horrible job was to pull the dead sheep (ewes) stuck in the mud on the edge of the dam out, before the carcasses could further contaminate the water.

    Loved Red Dust and can’t wait for Blue Skies…. Keep up the great work 🙂

  9. her job was to pull dead sheep from the dam .. I can’t wait to read blue skies i loved the first two chapter it great. Good luck

  10. Hi Fleur – Amanda’s job was to get the dead sheep out of the dam. Can just imagine how awful it is! I can’t wait to see how her story unfolds in Blue Skies.

  11. Hi Fleur, how wonderful to have such committed friends to work through your story with! Love the first two chapters – can’t wait for the rest of the story!

  12. I can’t wait to read Blue Skies! Amanda’s horrible job was winching out the two dead sheep stuck in the mud on the edge of the dam – with a bike at least 🙂

  13. So looking forward to reading your new book Fleur! Loved Red Dust – liked it better than Rachel Treasure’s books.
    The answer to your question – Amanda’s horrible job was to pull out two dead sheep that were stuck in the mud in the dam.

  14. Wow! I could have just copied the above answers but no, I had a read, as I haven’t read Fleurs work before! Anyway obviously Amanda’s job was to remove the dead sheep from the dam – you have no idea how heavy a dead WET sheep actually IS. Not to mention they can fall apart when you attach a rope to them 🙂 Sorry for the gore, people!

  15. Amanda had to pull out the dead sheep from the dam because her dad wanted to punish her. I can’t wait to read the whole book!

  16. Looking forward to reading more than this tantalizing little extract, you’re teasing us! And yes, like everyone else I’ll say that she had to pull two dead ewes out of the dam who had become stuck in the mud, a yakky but necessary job.

  17. I would love to say that Amanda’s horrible job was to paint the tips of all the barbwire barbs a bright red to highlight the danger, but that would just make me appear silly and defeat the purpose of writing so, Amanda’s horrible job was to pull two dead sheep out of the dam.

  18. Amanda’s horrible job at the dam was to pull the two dead ewes from the mud & water as quickly as possible to save the dam from further pollution.
    This reminds me somewhat of years ago when I was nearby the Namoi river, two cows had become stuck and no persuading or pulling would budge them. Eventually they had to be shot, and then removed from the water. Very heavy job indeed!

  19. Whoops! In moving server, we lost a few comments. Good thing I don’t clean out my email as often as I should, because I found them all and reposted them so you are all still eligible to win!

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