I haven't written much about Australia on this blog, so perhaps this may seem somewhat surprising. I had the privilege of living in Australia for four years during my childhood. My happiest memories are there. I love the warmth in Australia, as well as the terrain and the wildlife. While New Zealand is beautiful, Australia has always felt more like home to me. It's a place that I have an affinity with. My husband and I had discussed moving in the past, and in recent times, we settled on the idea of moving to Queensland.
My husband began applying for jobs and landed an excellent one at a Christian School in the small town of Chinchilla - otherwise known as the Big Melon (because it has a giant slice of watermelon in it - and because it's the watermelon capital of Australia). I have ten music students lined up for next year so far, and I'm looking forward to teaching more and meeting the locals through this. It will be good to have some space around the move though, especially as my fifth book Consort to the Shadows is due to drop in January.
Chinchilla is on the frontier of the outback, so to speak. It has red soil and large numbers of kangaroos. I was fascinated by the parrots and roos that can be readily seen in various parts of the town. The town itself is well equipped - it has several supermarkets, at least ten different places to eat out, three different clothing stores, multiple churches, a classy library, a pleasant cinema, and a very necessary pool. Just outside Chinchilla, the weir is a beautiful swimming spot which shows off the outback wildlife.
I've always found Australia an inspiring place, and I'm looking forward to posting more about our time over there on this blog, along with my writing updates. All the Australian updates will happen under the heading "Kiwis in the Outback". I picked the title because it sounded interesting. I have to admit, I'm not as Kiwi as some. I'm fully Dutch-blooded, and I have Australian citizenship as well.
It will be interesting to see if Australia affords me another opportunity to get my books printed in my own country. Australia certainly has a bigger market and several large book factories that may make it easier to get Rafen printed locally as well as internationally. New Zealand's isolation has always made it difficult for me as an author to promote my book.
Anyway, that is the update for now! Stay tuned for more news about Kiwis in the outback. I'm sure I'll have some interesting stories to tell - encounters with snakes, kangaroos, and storm cells alike. The move happens officially in early January.
Australia, here we come.