April is Aussie Author Month and celebrates the uniqueness and quality of Australian literature. It was started in 2011 by a group of reviewers and readers who wanted something special to celebrate Aussie authors. Genre and style doesn’t matter, it’s about a love of literature and a desire to promote home-grown reading to a wider community. Another important aspect of Aussie Author Month is recognising that literacy in this country isn’t as widespread as it should be, particularly among Indigenous and remote communities. It aims to raise awareness and fundraise for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
I’m an Aussie rural author, and am proud to be part of a burgeoning publishing success story – one being led exclusively by women writers. In a challenging time for publishers, Aussie rural lit has defied the trends with sales more than tripling in the past four years. Authors such as Rachael Treasure, Nicole Alexander and Fiona Palmer routinely outsell other local fiction.
One reason for the popularity of this genre, is that the heroines are generally tough, independent and capable people. Unlike the characters in a lot of chick-lit, they are not obsessed with shopping and finding a man. But there is another, more important reason. At the heart of this sort of fiction is a passion for the Australian countryside. Speaking personally, while I love to explore the complexities of human relationships, my narratives are always informed by the bush, together with its flora and fauna.
Australia’s wild landscapes are powerful settings. In cities, many people live lives so far removed from nature, that they rarely even touch the earth. But at what cost? The cost to our declining environment? The cost to our hearts? I think the world is hungry to reconnect with nature, to ground itself. The rural lit genre taps into this vein. When we lose touch with wildness, we lose touch with who we really are.
To celebrate Aussie Author Month I’m giving away a copy each of Brumby’s Run and Wasp Season. Just leave a comment saying what you love about Aussie stories for your chance to win! Winners announced April 30th. Aust & NZ entrants only.
I can identify with Australian stories, hear the accents, smell the bush. I readily grasp the humour & colloquialisms.
This is going to be a great month. I would love to read “Brumby’s Run” and “Wasp Season” thank you.
Thanks Mary … good luck in the draw!
The dry Australian sense of humour or the (also dry) Australian bush. I can’t decide between them!
Aah … very clever!
This is a great initiative, and I think you’re right Jennifer, rural lit does help us reconnect to the bush. I’ve been a city girl for most of my life and I love a good latte, but that sense of wide open spaces, and limitless sky is what makes me feel like an aussie.
I think your herd of alpacas makes you very much an honourary Aussie farmer!
lol – I hadn’t thought of that! Thank you. 😀
Unfortunately I am from Germany. 🙁 But I just started reading Aussie rural romance books. I just like reading the books because I like everything about country, horses and romances and I think Australia must be a beautiful country. Hope to travel there one day!
German readers have been such wonderful supporters of this genre. Thank you! My dream is that one day my books too will be reprinted there …
I love Aussie stories because they so unique and its so cool and relatable when you can read about places you actually know and have been to (like when i was reading the Cattleman’s daughter while up in the high country). We really are blessed to have so many great australian authors
What a perfect place to read a Rachael Treasure book! Thanks for your comment Rebecca …
I’m looking forward to Currawong Creek (aka Firewater). 🙂
What’s not to love about Aussie stories? Edgy, real, witty, larger-than-life characters who can tame this amazing place.
You remember the book’s original title! How sweet. Thanks for the comment Theresa and good luck …
Australia, so diverse, beautiful and haunting, like its literature.
Beautifully put, Veronica …