My new book (working title Billabong) is due for submission to Penguin on Monday. I’m putting the final touches on the first draft … and it’s good, if I do say so myself! The story is set on an imaginary river in the Murray-Darling basin, somewhere in north-western NSW near the junction of the Namoi and the Barwon – land of the Kamilaroi nation.
It’s a star-crossed love story between a cotton grower and a floodplains grazier. For riverine farmer Nina Moore, the rare marshland flanking the beautiful Bunyip River is the most precious place on earth. Her dream is to buy Billabong Bend and protect it forever, but she’s not the only one wanting the land. When Rocco, her childhood sweetheart, returns to the river, old feelings rekindle and she thinks she has an ally. But a tragic death divides loyalties, tears apart their fledgling romance and turns her dream into a nightmare. Will Nina win the battle for Billabong? Or will the man she once loved destroy the wild wetlands she holds so close to her heart?
It’s a story about first love – that original blinding passion that is never forgotten. When you believe that anything is possible. When you first believe in something more than yourself. But it’s also the story of a river, of water use in a thirsty land, and the division and conflict it inevitably causes. And if you love birds like I do, particularly our magnificent wetland birds, you’re in for a real treat!
Anyway, I’d better stop talking and go back to polishing that first draft. I’ll finish with a bit of Aussie rural author-watching, instead of bird-watching. This photo was taken at a recent conference, and is courtesy of Cathryn Hein. How many can you identify?
You know your rural romances really should be re-classifed as rural love stories because they don’t follow the time worn tropes. I’d read Billabong just for the ecological themes! Having real, believable conflicts in the relationship between your characters adds just the right amount of spice. Looking forward to Billabong. 🙂
Thank you! x
Sounds so fabulous Jennifer:) The Macquarie Marshes are not too far from where I live!
Thanks Alissa. You lucky thing! The Macquarie Marshes, along with the Gwydir Wetlands, are templates for my marshlands.
Lol – I thought so:):) Can’t wait to read Billabong.
Billabong sounds WONDERFUL, Jenn! Good luck with your Monday deadline.
Thanks Cathryn and oops – I spelt your name wrong. My apologies. Will just go and fix it …
Best of luck on Monday Jennifer. xxx Hugs xxx
Thanks and hugs back to you x
Sounds wonderful in every way, Jenny – very much looking forward to reading it! xx