Drawing on a familiar landscape
Ms Lane is not only an accomplished writer, she is also a very proud local who uses our unique local area as inspiration for her highly successful fiction.
Vanessa Almond caught up with Mrs Lane to chat about her latest release.
Vanessa Almond: You've just received the first copies of your new book 'Morgan's Law', and it's due to hit the shops any day now. You must be so excited?
Karly Lane: I really am. It's such a long process that it seems to take ages for it to get here! But now that it's here I can't wait to start seeing it in the shops.
VA: Some of the places in Morgan's Law are based on actual locations in Macksville and Bowraville?
KL: They are. In a lot of my books I picture places or buildings I'm familiar with. The pub in Morgan's Law is a bit of a combination of the bottom pub at Bowraville and the Star hotel in Macksville. In other books I have a firm picture of Bowraville main street in mind when I'm writing. That's the beauty of reading though ? everyone imagines a character or a place as something different. And the cool thing about that, is that it doesn't matter! Reading is all about using your imagination.
VA: How long have you lived in Macksville?
KL: I moved back to Macksville about seven years ago. My parents were born and raised here, but we moved all over the state while I was growing up, however Macksville/Bowraville has always been our home base.
VA: You spent the majority of your childhood in Bowraville, where your grandparents had a farm. What is your favourite memory of that time?
KL: I'd have to say the making of The Umbrella Woman would be a stand out memory! I had (and still have) the biggest crush on Bryan Brown! I can't imagine a more exciting thing to happen during school holidays than going into town and watching a movie being filmed! My younger brother was even asked to be an extra and I must admit I was slightly peeved that Bryan didn't come up and ask me...oh well...
VA: What do you love most about the area?
KL: I love that we have coast on one side, farmland on the other, bushland and pockets of rain forest scattered throughout, it's such a contrast of different environments all in the one area.
VA: How does it feel to open up a box of fresh books and see your work in print?
KL: It's very surreal. When I first saw my book in print, I went into automatic reader mode - I ohhed and ahhed over the cover and read the blurb and then I realised, hang on...this is my book! It's like Christmas and birthdays and a dream come true all wrapped up in one.
VA: As well as an author, you're a wife and a mum of four, and you also have a 'day job'. How on earth do you find the time to write?
KL: I wrote six books in a three year time frame with four kids at home and working part time. Looking back now it seems crazy! But you just make the time to write. It was tricky sometimes, but I'd stay up and write late at night and get up early before the rest of the house woke up. It can be done. But the biggest bonus is during cricket season - I get guaranteed guilt free writing time while my husband was busy watching it on TV.
VA: You've said that being a mum and writing stories set in beautiful rural Australia are your two favourite things. Do you have any plans for a third book?
KL: I've actually got another book coming out in December - the publishers surprised me and are putting out two books this year which is really rare. I'm also in the beginning stages of another book which at this stage might be a follow on from North Star.
VA: Any advice to aspiring local authors?
KL: The only way to become a better writer is to keep writing and finding a writers group that fits you. For me, joining the Romance Writers of Australia was the turning point of my career. Don't let the name put you off! Even if you write in a genre that isn't wholly romance - they are an amazing source of information and support. Other than that, don't give up and don't make excuses that you can't find the time.
Karly Lane will talk about her new book 'Morgans Law' at Coffs Harbour City Library on Tuesday, May 15 at 5.30pm for a 6pm start. Bookings are essential on 6648 4900.