Elise McCune

Elise McCune is an Australian, Melbourne-based writer.

12321693_593304527500999_917133685483326103_n-1 copy

Welcome to my website where you can see images of the places which inspire me and learn more about my stories.

Born in New South Wales, Australia, I moved to Perth, Western Australia where I raised my two children. I worked for ten years in the Western Australian Museum and during this time I travelled to Egypt and stayed in Cairo and Alexandria for an extended visit. I loved Egypt, its people and culture, and its history.

In 2016 I graduated from the  University of Iowa’s International Writing Program on fiction writing, centered on female authorial voices and female literary characters.

The online program was taught by Margot Livesey, Professor at the acclaimed Iowa Writers’ Workshop and author of seven novels and one short-story collection; and Christopher Merrill, Director of the International Writing Program, Professor of English at the University of Iowa, and author of six collections of poetry, five works of nonfiction, and many works of translation

I have a fascination for the beautiful landscapes of Australia which I weave through my stories. A sense of place is important to me and I like to explore how characters are shaped by unfamiliar places. I enjoy writing dual narrative stories set in two time periods: the past and the present and I also explore the theme of how the past impacts on the present.

Love, regret and yearning, and nostalgia for the past are things that most people can relate to and love is the most important of these.

I receive wonderful letters and emails from my readers, I answer every one, and I am grateful that through my stories I have, in some small way, given people something special.

unknown

Castle of Dreams is a poignant, luminous novel about two sisters, about a mother and daughter, a loved granddaughter, the past that separates them and the healing that comes with forgiveness.

Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm published  Castle of Dreams in translation in April 2017.

1e00fd8

I am currently writing my second novel. One narrative thread is set in southwestern Australia and the other in the lovely Tumut Valley in New South Wales, Australia with some chapters set in 1920’s London.

Book Club discussion questions are on this blog at the Castle of Dreams page.

You can buy a copy of Castle of Dreams here:

https://www.amazon.com.au/Castle-Dreams-Elise-McCune-ebook/dp/B01ASQ8X22

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/castle-of-dreams-2

http://www.booktopia.com.au/castle…/prod9781760291846.html

https://www.bookdepository.com/Castle-Dreams-Elise-McCune/9781760291846

Contact details:

https://www.goodreads.com/EliseMcCune

http://www.elisemccune.com

Email: elisemccune1@gmail.com

And please visit my Facebook author page for updates and to chat with me.

https:///www.facebook.com/elisemccuneauthorpage

castle-of-dreams-email

Leave a comment

Filed under What Elise Wrote

Elise McCune

8 Comments

Filed under Elise McCune, What Elise Wrote

Castle of Dreams – AWW Sunday Spotlight

1044861_577985165699602_1932174298208487854_n

Sunday Spotlight: Elise McCune
by TheresaSmithWrites | Sep 3, 2017 | Historical fiction, Sunday Spotlight | 0 comments
Welcome to Sunday Spotlight. Today our guest is Elise McCune, author of the historical fiction novel, Castle of Dreams.


When did you start writing and what was the catalyst?

I have always written but when my children were small it was mainly short stories. The catalyst to write was that I was a reader first and from my love of reading I became a writer.

How many novels have you written and published?

I have one published novel, one published memoir, and three books in the bottom drawer.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

The time I take to write a book is about eighteen months.

How has being Australian AND a woman impacted on your writing and/or writing career?

I am drawn to the beautiful landscapes of Australia and write about them so this impacted on my writing. Being a woman didn’t make any difference to my career.

What authors and types of books do you love the most?

I enjoy reading time-split novels with family secrets, mystery, and romance. I also read novels from the past like The Woman in White and Jane Eyre and novels by Kate Mosse and Pat Barker. My favourite book recently was Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar.

What is your favourite childhood book? Did reading as a child have any bearing on your decision to become a writer?
Alice in Wonderland was a favourite and anything by Enid Blyton. I still read fairytales. As I mentioned in an earlier question reading was what inspired me to write my own stories.

What inspired your most recent book?

The Spanish castle in Castle of Dreams was inspired by a visit to Paronella Park where I walked amongst the ruins of a castle that a Catalonian immigrant built in the far north Queensland rainforest in the early twentieth century.

How much research do you do? As an author of Historical Fiction, how do you balance the demands of getting the facts right and telling a good story?

I read a lot of memoirs from the period I am writing about as well as diaries and letters. I find first hand accounts are not filtered through the eyes of someone from a later period. I love research but it’s no use trying to put it all in your story. I try to look at things through the eyes of my protagonist: if something is unusual for their period in time they will notice it but otherwise it’s part of their everyday life. If I need to research a particular piece of clothing for instance I do that when I am writing the scene.

Do you read your book reviews? Do you appreciate reader feedback and take it on board, even if it is negative? How do you deal with negative feedback after spending so much time writing your book?

As a first time published author I read all my reviews and I appreciate reader feedback, positive or negative. I don’t consider it negative if I learn something from these comments. I don’t take it personally and it doesn’t worry me at all.

How much planning do you do? Do you plan / plot the entire story from beginning to end, or let it evolve naturally as the writing progresses? In terms of characters, are they already a firm picture in your mind before you start writing or do they develop a personality of their own as the story progresses?

I have a rough idea of where the story is going before I start writing. I get to know my characters as I write them. I had an outline for my work-in-progress that helped me get started but the story changed as I went along.

Have you ever had to deal with a situation where someone feels they recognise traits of themselves in one of your characters?

No because my characters and my story both come from my imagination. My characters are so real to me that if they walked through my front door I’d know them although I do let go of them when I have finished writing their story.

If you could go back in time for a year, which historical era would you choose to live in?

The forties of the last century.

If you could sit down for an afternoon with an iconic person from history, who would you choose to spend that time with?

It would have to be Alexander the Great one of the greatest military leaders the world has ever seen. He was one of the most influential people in human history.
When did you discover the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge? Do you think the challenge has had any impact on the awareness and discoverability of Australian Women writers? Have you personally benefited in terms of exposure of your work to new readers?

I discovered AWW last year but it has only this year I joined the challenge. The challenge is definitely putting the focus on Australian women writers. I’m not sure if my work has been exposed to new readers but I have certainly become aware of more Australian Women Writers.

About Castle of Dreams:

A ruined castle deep in the rainforest holds a secret that unites three generations of women: two sisters who find themselves in love with the same man as the Second World War rages and, decades later, a young woman determined to uncover the secrets in her grandmother’s hidden past.

Growing up together in a mysterious castle in northern Queensland, Rose and Vivien Blake are both sisters and close friends. But during the Second World War their relationship becomes strained when they each fall in love with the same dashing but enigmatic American soldier.

Rose’s daughter, Linda, has long sensed a secret in her mother’s past, but Rose has always resisted Linda’s questions, preferring to focus on the present.
Years later Rose’s granddaughter, Stella, also becomes fascinated by the shroud of secrecy surrounding her grandmother’s life. Intent on unravelling the truth, she visits the now-ruined castle Rose and Vivien grew up in to see if it she can find out more.
Captivating and compelling, Castle of Dreams is about love, secrets, lies – and the perils of delving into the past.

Historical fiction fans might be interested to attend the 2017 Melbourne Historical Novel Society Australasia conference on 8-10 September.

The programme features over 60 speakers. You can read interviews with some of the participating authors at the HNSA blog.

Elise will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10

Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

Thanks so much to Theresa Smith for this interview.

You can check out all the AWW Sunday posts here:  australianwomenwriters.com/

I committed to review ten novels by Australian women this year. I am working to a deadline for my new novel but I will make sure I meet the challenge!

Elise

Leave a comment

Filed under What Elise Wrote

HNSA Melbourne Conference

I will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10

Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

WORLDS AT WAR: THE APPEAL OF 20TH CENTURY HISTORICAL FICTION
The history of the early to mid-20th century now falls within the definition of ‘historical fiction’. Why do novels depicting the great conflicts of modern times hold such fascination? And has war fiction replaced Tudor fiction as ‘the favourite flavour’ for readers and publishers? Julian Novitz discusses these questions with Paddy Richardson, Elise McCune, Justin Sheedy and Julian Leatherdale.

Only 2 more weeks until the 2017 HNSA Melbourne Conference. Purchase your tickets before the allocation is exhausted! And don’t forget to take advantage of our workshop programme. Cost of tuition is only $20 per session once a full weekend or day ticket has been purchased. You will then be entered into the draw to win a $100 Dymocks Gift Card.

Strong female voices…
Elise McCune’s first novel Castle of Dreams takes place across two times periods. Guided by the relationship between two sisters, the narrative explores both a love story and Elise’s interest in military history. She joins us at HNSA 2017 as part of the ‘Worlds at War: the Appeal of 20th Century Historical Fiction’ panel.

Love, war and history…
Alison Stuart’s early years of reading were influenced by her father’s passion for history. An ongoing interest in the English Civil War period inspired her latest work And Then Mine Enemy, which explores both the turbulence of the time and the protagonist’s inner battles of family, state and love.
Keep reading…

Historical fiction for all ages…
Gabrielle Wang is an award-winning author of fiction for both children and adults. Like many others her writing explores times of war, but focuses particularly on its impact on children. She will share her wisdom on writing historical fiction for a younger audience at HNSA 2017.

Fiction based in truth…
Vicky Adin’s novels are inspired by true genealogy stories, with a particular focus on the female pioneers of her home country New Zealand. She will discuss this aspect of her work as part of the ‘Immigrant Stories and Diaspora: How Pioneers Adapt and Survive in Their New Land’ panel at HNSA 2017.
Podcast: Deborah Challinor & Ngahuia te Awekotuku
Enjoy another podcast in the Imagining the Past interview series which provides a foretaste of the HNSA 2017 Melbourne conference. Our host, Kelly Gardiner, chats to Deborah Challinor and Ngahuia te Awekotuku about the challenges of reinterpreting C19th narratives of first contact and colonisation.

Podcast: Kelly Gardiner and Catherine Padmore
You might also like to listen to our Imagining the Past podcast with Kelly Gardiner and Catherine Padmore talking about the craft of writing historical bio-fiction. Kelly and Catherine will be appearing in the HNSA academic panel Bio-fiction: Can You Defame the Dead? together with Kate Forsyth, Ariella van Luyn and Gabrielle Ryan. Entry is free with a weekend or day ticket but please book your seat because spaces are limited.

Short Story Long List
The HNSA committee are delighted to announce the long list for the inaugural HNSA Short Story Award. Finalists are Lauren Chater, Errol Bishop, Eleanor Limprecht, Belinda Lyons-Lee, Denise Ogilvie and Christine Childs. Congratulations to all – and good luck! The short list and winner will be announced at the Conference Dinner on Saturday 9th September. Many thanks to our judge, Sandra Gulland, and our sponsors, Eagle Books and the Historical Novel Society.

History with a Twist Cocktails

Toast the start of HNSA 2017 at our History with a Twist Cocktail party on Friday 9th September where you can celebrate Kate Forsyth’s Beauty in Thorns with the chance to win lots of prizes including a 1:1 Skype session for yourself or your book club with Kate.

The celebration will be followed by a round table discussion on our theme of ‘Identity: Origins and Diaspora’ with Nicolas Brasch in conversation with Arnold Zable, Lisa Chaplin, Ngahuia te Awekotuku, Hanifa Deen and Gary Crew.

Manuscript Assessments
The opening of your novel is what hooks readers, so it’s important to get it right. Editors Irina Dunn and Alison Arnold are offering 60 minute one-on-one manuscript assessments providing detailed feedback on the first 1,500 words of your manuscript to improve and refine it to catch a publisher’s eye.

Authorpreneurship
Today a creator needs to be an ‘Authorpreneur’ who knows marketing, publicity, technological, legal and entrepreneurial skills to establish and maintain self-employment. Hazel Edwards offers strategies for beginners, mid-list and highly experienced creators to adapt to a fast-changing digital, global industry. Purchase of a workshop ticket entitles you entry into a $100 Dymocks Gift Card Giveaway.Cost of tuition is $20 per session once a full weekend or day ticket has been purchased. You can purchase your session here.

Medieval, Regency and So Much More: Writing Historical Romance for the International Market
‘Historical romance’ covers a wide range of styles, with varying degrees of history and romance. Internationally published, award-winning authors Anne Gracie and Isolde Martyn will share their tips about writing historical romance, the craft of story-telling, the importance of research, and creating historical characters and atmosphere, as well as some ‘how-not-to’ advice to help authors reach the international market. Purchase of a workshop ticket entitles you entry into a $100 Dymocks Gift Card Giveaway. Cost of tuition is $20 per session once a full weekend or day ticket has been purchased. You can purchase your session here.

Recreating Historical Costumes
What is it like to wear a Tudor outfit or dance in a Renaissance dress? How heavy is an ancient Chinese hanfu and how much fabric goes into its creation? These questions and more will be answered by Rachel Nightingale in this workshop, where you will have a chance to get up close and personal with a range of outfits made by historical re-enactors based on research and portraits. You will have the chance to look at a number of costuming books that deconstruct historical costumes, and perhaps even to try on a historical outfit. Purchase of a workshop ticket entitles you entry into a $100 Dymocks Gift Card Giveaway. Cost of tuition is $20 per session once a full weekend or day ticket has been purchased. You can purchase your session here.

Building an Author Platform: Social Media Basics for Historical Novelists
Whether traditionally published or an indie author, historical novelists are called upon more than ever to be their own publicists. Building an author platform is a necessity if you are to connect with your readers and promote your books. Elisabeth Storrs will guide you through the basics of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, website ‘musts’ and blogging with a particular emphasis on marketing historical fiction. Purchase of a workshop ticket entitles you entry into a $100 Dymocks Gift Card Giveaway. Cost of tuition is $20 per session once a full weekend or day ticket has been purchased. You can purchase your session here.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Self-Publishing* But Were Afraid to Ask
The self-publishing revolution has given authors the opportunity to reach readers directly and cut out the gatekeepers. Successful indie authors are creative producers, publishers, and publicists who run small businesses. In this interactive session, GS Johnston is available to answer questions from those intending to venture into indie publishing, or Indies who want to learn more. Purchase of a workshop ticket entitles you entry into a $100 Dymocks Gift Card Giveaway. Cost of tuition is $20 per session once a full weekend or day ticket has been purchased. You can purchase your session here.
Conference News
The HNSA 2017 Conference will be held in Melbourne on 8-10 September in association with Swinburne University of Technology. This celebration of the historical fiction genre will showcase over 60 speakers in our weekend programme. Among the many acclaimed historical novelists participating are Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor, Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, Sulari Gentill, Robert Gott and Arnold Zable. The HNSA’s speakers’ list is available on the HNSA website.

Don’t miss the opportunity to book into one of our 10 craft based super sessions and 2 research masterclasses. There are also interactive sessions on armour and historical costumes!

Our First Pages Pitch Contest offers an opportunity for submissions to be read aloud by and actor to a panel of publishers. And we are delighted to announce the introduction of our inaugural HNSA Short Story Contest with a $500 prize!

Manuscript assessments will be conducted by industry experts, Alison Arnold and Irina Dunn. Our free extended academic programme is open for general admission on the topics ‘Bio-fiction: Can you defame the dead?’ and ‘The Lie of History’. Don’t forget to reserve your seat.

To read about other authors who are attending the conference check out the HNSA website.

I hope to see you at this fabulous conference.

Elise

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under What Elise Wrote

Daphne du Maurier-Gothic Literature

I am busy finishing my work-in-progress but I enjoy writing my blog so I thought I’d indulge myself and write a post about my favourite genre this morning with a cup of tea at my elbow. I notice that other writers, often older writers (of which I am one), steer clear of social media but I have made friends all over the world as well as in Australia through my blog. I cherish these friendships and learn much from my fellow writers and my readers. Social media is now part everday life for most people and I like to connect with my readers. Writing is my passion and it doesn’t take more than a half-hour to write a post. I write them for myself as well as for my readers so my blog is rather like a journal. When I finish my WIP I am going to become more active on Instagram which I love!

Here is a short excerpt from my WIP, a dual narrative story set in the southwest of Western Australia and the beautiful Tumut Valley which is at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, with a few chapters set in London. I set my stories against a backdrop of war and in my WIP, which has the working title of One Bright Day, I write about World War One and its aftermath.

Excerpt: One Bright Day

Mrs Barker had a small, narrow upstairs bedroom reached by a private staircase at the back of the house and when Daniel and Harry were youngsters they’d sneak up there before she retired for the night. A row of tall glass jars filled with sugary treats was set atop the chest of drawers and they could choose modestly from the assortment: a couple of sugar-coated jubes, one of the squares of fresh fudge wrapped in waxed paper, a jagged piece of chocolate, or a long black twist of licorice.

She gave me a sharp look. ‘Did you sleep well, Ellen?’

When I didn’t answer she wiped her hands on her apron, still looking at me. Mrs Barker had a knack of knowing what went on in the household.

My novel is not a Gothic novel but it does have elements of magic with an abandoned garden and lots of family secrets. If I have a motif in my WIP it is definitely gardens with  an artist in the past who paints flowers and a botanist in the present day.

Daphne du Maurier and the Gothic

I first read Daphne du Maurier when I found old hardback copies of her books with their beautiful wrap around covers on my mother’s bookshelf.  I was about ten years old and these books were the start of my obsession with all things Gothic. Having an interest in Australian Gothic it’s on my ‘to be read’ list to read more of our 19th century Australian writers who wrote in the Gothic genre.

I wrote a post on 29 th October, 2016 called ‘Gothic Literature’ in which I spoke about Australian Gothic Literature and listed some of my favourite books in the Gothic genre.

images

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) used traditional Gothic motifs. Her motifs are: dark romances, a fascination with the past, the supernatural, and the magical intermingled with the realistic. And contain psychological insight through characterisation and representation of fear and the sinister and macabre .

unknown

Her short stories, such as ‘The Birds, ‘Don’t Look Now’ and ‘The Apple Tree’, take Gothic themes and add new twists. ‘The Apple Tree’can be read as the story of a woman haunting her husband from beyond the grave but it can also be viewed as a chilling meditation upon mental disintegration.

Daphne du Maurier was foremost a storyteller and that’s what I love about her novels and short stories. They draw you in and you can’t let go of the characters, ever!

220px-rebecca_1940_film_poster

Rebecca herself  is dead when the novel starts and is the perfect example of a character and not a ghost, who makes not a single living appearance, but haunts the imaginations of the living protagonists. Favourite characters all.

I read all Daphne du Maurier’s novels and short stories, often found preloved in second hand bookshops, before I left school, The mystery and magic of her story telling and the haunting darkness and complexity of her work makes me return to them often.

unknown-1

Other favourite characters are Phillip and Rachel in My Cousin Rachel and Mary Yellan in Jamaica Inn.

9781844088539

In the same way as Thomas Hardy is forever associated with Wessex, and Charles Dickens with London, so Daphne du Maurier is forever associated with Cornwall. Cornwall gave du Maurier the freedom to write free from the distractions of London life. I have several books about Cornwell on my bookshelf including Vanishing Cornwell by Daphne du Maurier.

Daphne and her two sisters

images-1

Have a wonderful week and include magic and storytelling and writing and reading.

Elise

Thanks to Greg Buzwell, Curator for Printed Literary Sources, 1801 – 1914 at the British Library. His research focuses primarily on the Gothic literature of the Victorian fin de siècle. He is also editing a collection of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s ghost stories, The Face in the Glass and Other Gothic Tales, for publication. The text in Greg’s article is available under the Creative Commons License.

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

5 Comments

Filed under Elise McCune, What Elise Wrote

Living on Hope Street-Demet Divaroren

images

Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren is a beautifully written, novel. Although this book is YA I feel that adults would also enjoy this story set in multicultural Melbourne. Demet Divaroren tells the story of the people who live on Hope Street with great compassion and understanding. You just want the kids in the story to be happy. Kane and Sam are brothers and when Kane tries to protect his mother and Sam from the violence of their father it is written with empathy. In some ways this story reminds me of Ruth Park’s The Harp in the South and just as well-written.

Unknown-1

From the blurb on the back cover: On this street, everyone comes from different places, but to find peace they will have to discover what unites them.

Living on Hope Street has one of the best covers I’ve seen and perfectly captures the story within, edgy and full of hope.

Living on Hope Street is a big-hearted, compassionate work. Divaroren is a ferociously good storyteller and every character breathes life, every character convinces. This book is an absolute joy to read.’ CHRISTOS TSIOLKAS

I’m sure Living on Hope Street will win awards and become an Australian classic.

Highly recommended.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under What Elise Wrote

The Rose

A gift from my daughter this year was ‘The Rose’  The history of the World’s favourite flower with classic texts and beautiful rare prints. Written by Brent Elliott, Historian, Royal Horticultural Society the society shares the best in gardening.

The Rose

xthe-rose.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ItxAwr4rFZ.jpg

Audrey Hepburn, an icon of class and beauty, had a rose named after her. The rose named after Audrey is a soft apple-blossom pink hybrid tea rose. The blossoms are a deep pink in bud, but when they open they become a softer pink and then almost white. She grew them in her garden and in a bouquet you have different hues of colour.

Audrey Hepburn

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow . . .

The Audrey Hepburn Rose

1Audrey-Hepburn-Rose-5-large.jpg

My mother was a gardener and my daughter has inherited the gardening gene and also my son.  I enjoy writing about gardens! In my novel Castle of Dreams I wrote about the rainforest plants and trees and in my WIP I am writing about all things botanical. My protagonist in the modern day is a botanist and my protagonist in the past collects wildflowers and paints botanical pictures. I have written about a medieval garden, a herb garden, an orchard and a vegetable garden. And of course a rose garden. There are dark family secrets and the past impacts on the present. But are some secrets better never to be discovered?

Gardens are a recurring motif in my novels.

Monet’s Garden at Giverny

1Giverny,-Normandy,-France--large.jpg

Audrey Hepburn:

If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairytales and I like them best of all. 

Have a wonderful day, writing, reading, dreaming . . .

Elise

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

2 Comments

Filed under Castle of Dreams, Elise McCune, What Elise Wrote

Elizabeth Lhuede – Australian Author

Elizabeth Lhuede will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

speakers-Elizabeth-Lhuede.jpg

Elizabeth Lhuede has a PhD in Australian poetry and is the author of two novellas, both contemporary romantic suspense, published with Harlequin Escape under her pen-name, Lizzy Chandler. In 2011, still unpublished but with a manuscript ready to submit, Elizabeth began researching Australian publishers and the books they were publishing, particularly books by Australian women. At the same time, she set about establishing an online social media profile, joining Twitter and creating a personal blog. Online, she came across debates raging over gender bias in the reviewing of books by women in mainstream media. As someone guilty of reading more books by men than women, and having read only a few classic books by Australian women (apart from friends’), Elizabeth was inspired to help counter the gender bias by pledging to devote 2012 to reading and reviewing books by Australian women. A number of book bloggers joined her and soon the Australian Women Writers (AWW) challenge was created, with its own blog to host the challenge, and with a declared mission to support and promote books by Australian women. In its sixth year, the AWW challenge now has a searchable database with links to nearly 4000 reviews of books by Australian women. It also has a Facebook group for AWW participants, a dedicated Goodreads group and, on Twitter, over seven-and-a-half thousand followers and its own hashtag (#aww2017). While overseeing the challenge, Elizabeth attracted the attention of a literary agent and, eventually, a publisher, though not in the genre she was expecting. In 2015, her debut romantic suspense novel, Snowy River Man, an ebook, became the most reviewed romance for the challenge that year, and gained Elizabeth a nomination as “Favourite New Romance Author” for 2015 in the Australian Romance Readers Awards. It has since been published in a print anthology with MIRA.

https://elizabethlhuede.com/

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Elizabeth Lhuede presenting.

Elise

Leave a comment

Filed under What Elise Wrote

Historical Fiction

I  will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Booker-McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as the Booker Prize) is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language and published in the UK. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade. From its inception, only Commonwealth, Irish, and South African (later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible to receive the prize; in 2014, however, this eligibility was widened to any English-language novel.

A high-profile literary award in British culture, the Booker Prize is greeted with great anticipation and fanfare. It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be selected for inclusion in the shortlist or even to be nominated for the “longlist”. Ref: Wikipedia

Historical novels won the Booker Prize in: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Unknown-1Winner 2009.

I write time slip novels that incorporate historical fiction and the modern day.

People who lived in the past are the same as people today in their hopes and dreams. It is also necessary to understand that they were, in many ways different, depending on the culture and centuries they lived in. But, the dead are real, and in my novels they have power over the living.

In The Voyage of Saint Brendan, an eighth-century Latin account,(‘faction’) about Brendan of Clonfert, there are elements of historical fiction. The genre has been around for a long time.

Historical fiction has an enduring popularity.

One of my favourite historical books is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind a wonderful evocation of history written by someone who sat on the knees of old Civil War soldiers and listened to their stories.

images.jpeg

I enjoy the research I need to undertake when I write about the past. I create a lost world. It takes me months longer to write the historical part of a novel because of the time I take to research (research is a long piece of string). I enjoy discovering about the postal service, the lighting and heating of rooms and the many small details that make up everyday life in the past. I thread the historical narrative through the story. When seen through the eyes of my historical characters what is strange and unusual to me is not noticed by my characters except for a specific reason.

I enjoyed researching my novel Castle of Dreams set during the Pacific War in a castle in far north Queensland. And, I made friends along the way.  Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm published Castle of Dreams in translation in April, 2017.

The lovely image below was taken by Elise Cathrin. 

https://elisecathrin.com/2017/05/31/slottet-i-regnskogen-av-elise-mccune/

slottet-i-regnskogen

‘Historical’ means I write as truthfully and accurately as I can about the past and ‘fiction’ means I can make up my story, dream about the past and inhabit the lives of the people I’ve created. When I’ve finished my story I wait hopefully for my characters to knock on my front door.  I would know them well.

Then after a few weeks I purchase a lovely notebook and start scribbling notes for my next novel. My erstwhile characters are, by now, floating away. I bid them goodbye and wish them well on their journey.

Have a good week, reading, writing and dreaming,

Elise

2 Comments

Filed under What Elise Wrote

Ella Carey-Australian Author

Ella Carey will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

about

Ella Carey is the internationally bestselling author of three novels inspired by the discovery of courtesan Marthe de Florian’s abandoned apartment in Paris, published by Lake Union Publishing in the US: Paris Time Capsule, released in 2015 and now adapted into a feature film screenplay, The House by the Lake, released in March 2016 and From a Paris Balcony, releasing in October 2016. Paris Time Capsule is going to be re-released with Harlequin Australia in September 2016. Ella has an arts degree majoring in European history and nineteenth century women’s literature, and a music degree in classical piano. She has traveled extensively in Europe and has a particular fondness for Paris. When Ella is not hard at work writing her fourth novel, she is either busy with her pair of teenagers, walking her pair of Italian greyhounds while cooking up future books and greeting the many people who think the dogs are whippets, reading or dreaming of being in Paris. For more information about Ella’s books and her writing, please visit her at https://www.facebook.com/ellacareyauthor/ or at http://www.ellacarey.com/

From Ella’s website

I grew up in a house full of books. Bookshelves tumbled with old copies of Beatrix Potter, Aesop’s Fables, whole collections of Kipling and LM Montgomery, The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows and everything else- often bound together with old sticky tape, having been read and loved a thousand times before they reached me. There were navy blue and deep red leather bound classics in the formal rooms of the house, their spines inlaid with delicate gold ink. It was a privilege to be able to handle the fine paper that contained thousands of words- and stories, always wonderful stories. I have written since I could pick up a pen; first, in a series of odd little journals, made of folded paper stapled together carefully at the spine. I used to draw characters in bright texta pen or soft Derwent pencils. I always loved the feel of putting a pen or pencil to paper. This led to further writing, several novels that are for my eyes only, and poems written when I was studying at university, all of which I threw out, horrified that someone might find them and read them if something were to happen to me. I was furiously passionate about classical music as a teenager, so went to the conservatorium and studied the piano. I did an Arts degree majoring in English literature and Modern European history. It was when I was at university that I knew I wanted to write, properly. Our entire English class was sent to spend the week at a local writer’s festival by a wonderful lecturer, and that was it, for me. I have a passion for travel- particularly to Europe; I am fascinated by its history. I think history adds depth to life. Every time I go away I come back with a new idea for a book. If something resonates with me, it might be an idea, or a person, or an event, then I find it impossible not to write about it and I end up weaving it, along with several other strands, into a story. I write every day. It’s just something I have to do. I’m afraid that I’m probably terribly grumpy if I can’t write.

Secret Shores-Ella’s new book

Screen-Shot-2017-04-09-at-9.19.58-pm

In 1946, artist Rebecca Swift’s dreams of love and a life free from convention are crashing like the waves of the Australian coast below her. And it’s into those roiling waters that she disappears. Forty-one years later, Tess Miller’s dreams are crashing, too. The once-successful New York editor has lost her most prestigious author to the handsome new golden boy of publishing. Meanwhile, she’s stuck with Edward Russell, a washed-up Australian poet writing a novel about some obscure artist named Rebecca Swift. But Tess may have underestimated Russell. His book is not only true—it’s a searing, tragic romance and a tantalizing mystery set in a circle of postwar modernists. When Tess uncovers a long-hidden secret, she’s drawn even deeper into Rebecca’s enigmatic life and death. As Rebecca’s past intertwines with the present, Tess finds herself falling for the last man she thought she’d ever be drawn to. On the way, she discovers the power of living an authentic life—and that transcendent love never really dies.

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Ella Carey presenting.

Elise

Leave a comment

Filed under What Elise Wrote

Kelly Gardiner- Australian Author

Kelly Gardiner will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

Unknown

From Kelly’s Website

I grew up on the edge of Melbourne, Australia, lived in Sydney for a while, and later on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. Now I live in an old cottage  called Thelma in Melbourne, and in a beach shack on Waiheke for some of the year. I teach creative writing at La Trobe University a few days a week, and run writing workshops at schools, libraries, community organisations and festivals. Here’s my official-sounding biography. I have a BA in Professional Writing and Editing, a Master of Arts (Literature) and a PhD in English (Creative Writing). In my spare time I write, research, read, walk, sit about staring at nothing, and do an awful lot of gardening and cooking. Not necessarily in that order.

Kelly Gardiner’s most recent book is ‘1917’ (published early in 2017), a novel for young readers set during the First World War. Her previous books include Goddess, based on the remarkable life of the seventeenth century French swordswoman and opera singer, Julie d’Aubigny. Kelly’s historical novels for young adults include The Sultan’s Eyes and Act of Faith, set during the time of the English Civil Wars and the Inquisition. Both books were shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her books for younger readers are the ‘Swashbuckler’ adventure trilogy – Ocean Without End, The Pirate’s Revenge and The Silver Swan – set in Malta during the Napoleonic invasion, and a picture book, Billabong Bill’s Bushfire Christmas. Kelly has worked on newspapers, magazines and websites, and her articles, poems, book reviews and travel writing have appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers as diverse as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Marie Claire’, ‘New Idea’, and ‘Going Down Swinging’.

https://kellygardiner.com/tag/hnsa/

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Kelly Gardiner presenting.

Elise

Leave a comment

Filed under What Elise Wrote

Alison Stuart-Australian Author

Alison Stuart will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

Unknown

Born in Africa in the dying days of the British Empire, at the age of ten award winning Australian author Alison Stuart moved to Australia. After a long and varied career as a lawyer, including stints with the military and fire services, Alison turned to her first passion, history.  Most of her stories have an English Civil War setting and several of them have  been shortlisted for international awards. She is loved by her readers for her ability to breathe life into the dry bones of history, particularly a lesser known period of history such as the civil war.

Alison learned her passion from history from her father. She has been writing stories since her teenage years but it was not until 2007 that her first full length novel was published. A past president of the Romance Writers of Australia, Alison has now published seven full length historical romances and a collection of her short stories. Many of her stories have been shortlisted for international awards and BY THE SWORD won the 2008 EPIC Award for Best Historical Romance.   Her inclination for writing about soldier heroes may come from her varied career as a lawyer in the military and fire services. These days when she is not writing she is travelling and routinely drags her long suffering husband around battlefields and castles.

Ref: http://www.alisonstuart.com

alisonstuart-1875x2775-72dpi-rgb

When grieving widow, Australian, Helen Morrow and her six year old daughter, Alice arrive at her husband’s previous home, Holdston in rural England, she is welcomed by his mother Evelyn. But the meeting with wounded and reclusive Major Paul Morrow,  her husband’s cousin, does not go so well. He wants nothing to do with them.  A coded diary, written by Paul’s great-grandmother, is found and Helen and Paul haunted by ghosts from another time and another conflict they search for answers. While they search for answers to the past mystery there is also a mystery surrounding the death of Helen’s husband at Passchandaele. I love reading stories with a past and present thread and the two stories entwine brilliantly.  The novel is character driven, which all the best novels are, and the scenes in early 1900’s England are a delight.

Gather the Bones by Alison Stuart is a fabulous read. This is the first book by this talented storyteller I have read and I look forward to reading more.

(This writer is NOT the Alison Stuart who also writes as Kate Tremayne and authored Fateful Shadows, Sin No More, Barefoot Angel, Innocence Betrayed or Loyalty Defiled.)

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Alison Stuart presenting.

Elise

1 Comment

Filed under Elise McCune, What Elise Wrote