Tag Archives: Australia

A Sad Day Indeed

A sad day… the first real publication offer received for “Out of the Darkness” and I refused it. Although the publisher said: the manuscript is a wonderful tale, well written, with a great plot and subplots‘, they wanted me to change the time frame. As this would mean losing the story’s originality, and affecting the two subsequent stories I have planned for this series, I decided to reject their offer.

It’s bad enough that we Australian writers always have to ‘bend’ to the demands of the American market, by writing our stories in American English, using Americanized expressions such as ‘parking lot’ instead of ‘car park’, ‘sheriff’s office’ instead of ‘police station’, etc… etc… but for the sake of a 23 year time frame when mobile phones were just starting to make an appearance and not everyone owned one, the publisher insists to bring the time line forward so that my characters have mobiles in their possession so as not to have to use a pay phone then it is time to hold one’s ground, and say ‘NO’.

Which is precisely what I have done. I told the publisher ‘Thank You’, but ‘No Thank You’.

Out of the Darkness” is my very first piece of serious writing which began its life in 1994 [the time frame of my story], but which I never considered it good enough at the time to submit it for publication. Instead I worked on it trying to improve its quality over several years and in the meanwhile wrote and self-published my non-fiction history book “Smithy’s War [that took 10 years to research and write], and my first historical romance novel “Beneath Southern Stars” using a pen name ‘Louise Roberts’.

Since then Louise has had published five historical romances by Luminosity Publishing UK. With their successes, I thought it was time for “Out of the Darkness” to have the same opportunity.

Despite submitting it unsuccessfully to several publishers over the last few years, this latest publisher’s initial email was the only one which expressed any encouragement, as did their email accepting my rejection, which stated:

‘Our readers did enjoy the story and had good things to say about it, including that they would love to see it contracted and revised so it could find an audience because they like your voice and your ability to keep the suspense going. So I hope you consider our point of view and perhaps update it over time – as I mentioned, that late 1900s time frame is a hard sell to readers, which could be why other publishers were hesitant to contract it. No matter how much we like a story, we still have to make a living’.

Personally as much as I appreciate their candor, I don’t see why a certain time frame should annoy readers. If the story has the right ingredients and is a good suspense thriller then why would the date in history be a disadvantage?

In the early 1990’s Australia saw at least 326 violent crimes including the murder of politician John Newman assassinated outside his home in 1994, and the back packer murders 1988-1992.

Despite this being a shameful statistic it is a speck in the ocean compared to the same period in America, where it is reported that in 1992 alone in excess of 2,000,000 murders, rapes, aggravated assaults, and robberies took place.

As for “Out of the Darkness” which is set in Australia and Malta in January 1994, I strongly believe this story deserves the best, and I had hoped that a third-party publisher could do it justice. However it now seems that the only way that I am going to get this story published without compromising the plot and time frame is to self-publish.


RLB – Tomewriter


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Glenelg – Travel Log 18

Having visited most of the sights worth seeing in and around Adelaide, it would have been a crying shame to have returned to Sydney without having had a peak in the direction of the Southern Ocean or at least the northern most reaches of it off the South Australian coast…

… And so we set off to Glenelg; perhaps the only town in Australia [who knows, perhaps even the World], which is spelt the same forwards or backwards. http://glenelgsa.com.au/

We visited Glenelg, which is located 10km from the centre of Adelaide, briefly as part of the Adelaide City Highlights Tour run by Sealink. However we wanted to spend some time there, we set off from our hotel at South Terrace early afternoon driving down the Anzac Highway [A5].

Established in 1836 it is the oldest European settlement in the South Australian mainland. On the 23rd July of that year the HMS Buffalo had sailed out of Portsmouth, England with one hundred and seventy-six colonists. Amongst them was Captain John Hindmarsh [1785 – 1860] who, following the proclamation made on 28th December 1836, was appointed as the first Governor of the new colony of South Australia.

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The Kaurna Indigenous people knew the area as Pattawilya and the local river as Pattawilyangga which was renamed the Patawalonga River. Today a replica of the HMS Buffalo is moored at Glenelg and doubles up as a restaurant.

Today Glenelg is a beachside town with a population of around 3,500. The High Street comprises with an assortment of shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, hotels and bars. The Town Hall stands proudly close to the jetty where a memorial commemorates the arrival of the pioneer settlers and the establishment of the colony.

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The jetty juts out to sea at distance of 215 metres (705 feet) less than two-thirds of the original jetty and offers an excellent view of the town and beach, both are impressive, particularly the vast array of new apartment blocks on either side of the pier.

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Looking onshore to the left of the pier towards Glenelg North the Marina Pier apartments with their own private marina and the Pier Hotel dominate the skyline.

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For us, we spent a pleasant afternoon wandering around the town discovering the sights the town had to offer. Had lunch overlooking the sea, enjoyed a coffee and cake by the Town Hall square, walked the entire length of the town window shopping and purchasing souvenirs.

Had we not had the car we could have travelled back into Adelaide by tram… perhaps next time.

RLB – Tomewriter

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To Tell Three Tales – Published

To Tell Three Tales has been published today. Once again I am grateful for the great work Judy Bullard has done with creating a fantastic cover for the book. When she sent it through to me earlier this week I blown away by its sheer beauty and excellent craftsmanship. She has captured the titles of the three stories perfectly with the three images portrayed that I feel the book has to be a success……….. Here’s hoping!

RLB – Tomewriter

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