I love it when readers contact me, no matter what the reason. I especially love it when they are asking for help with their own research. I find the research aspect of writing historical fiction the most fascinating, time-consuming, frustrating, but totally engrossing task and I welcome any excuse to revisit it.
Since 2010, when Black Jack Anderson was first released, I have been asked by film and documentary makers, journalists and others to help them with their research into the life of Australia’s most notorious pirate. Many of their projects have eventually come to fruition, although not always in the way we expected at the time. But even if they come to nothing those requests have allowed me to revisit that earlier research and re-connect with the characters and places in that story. Almost invariably more information has become available in the time that has elapsed since I did my research, which is also exciting. The more we know about it the better we understand our shared past.
This week I have had the joy of revisiting (in my photo file) the Chateau de Freycinet, situated outside the village of Saulces-sur-Rhone in the south of France, and looking again at the childhood home of Louis de Freycinet. This is also the place where Louis and his new bride, Rose, lived for roughly two years before setting off in the corvette, Uranie, on their epic voyage around the world (1817 – 1820). What a joy it is to once again enter their world of excitement, danger, extreme hardship and amazing discoveries.
You too can visit the Chateau de Freycinet. To See the World is published by NLA Press, Canberra.