It’s Official!

The centrepiece of this brooch is a gold nugget given to Clara Saunders by Paddy Hannan for saving his life.

My latest manuscript, Life Blood: the story of Clara Saunders, has been accepted for publication by Fremantle Press!

Southern Cross was the end of the line in September 1892 when gold was discovered 168 miles further out in the harsh untracked desert to the east. A huge reef of gold. One of the biggest in the world at that time. Fourteen year old Clara Saunders couldn’t wait to go out there and see it for herself.

Evan Wisdom was one of the two thousand men who immediately flocked to the area on foot, by bicycle, horse and cart or any wheeled vehicle they could find. He was not after the gold, though. He knew that the way to make money was to set up a hotel. When he came back in to Southern Cross a few weeks later, looking for an assistant for his overworked housekeeper, Clara applied. Having arrived from Queensland just a few weeks before she had no idea of the hardships she would face, the lifelong friendships she would make and the hardy characters she would meet. Paddy Hannan, Moondyne Joe, Dryblower Murphy, are all household names today. But Clara’s stories of courage, humour, loyalty and endurance had been long overlooked and almost lost, until I found her Memories in the Battye Library. Now, with the help of Fremantle Press, she can take her place among the tough adventurous pioneers of the Coolgardie goldfields.

Watch this space. I’ll keep you posted.

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