TELL US YOUR BACKSTORY with Sandi Wallace
Thirteen years ago, my hubby and I took a treechange, moving from Melbourne to the Dandenong Ranges to live a country lifestyle in the hills, with family and work an easy commute away. Not quite the Tom and Barbara Good played by Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal in The Good Life. (Do you remember that show? I loved it! And by strange fortune, my hubby did too.) We aren’t self-sufficient and our menagerie is two cats and a dog, along with a vast array of visiting wildlife, rather than chooks, pigs and a goat, but it’s a wonderful life and we feel privileged to be caretakers of our nook in the hills.
Our lifestyle change also allowed me to take some time off work to study writing and editing, gradually build a portfolio of published articles, and begin my first rural crime thriller. (It became Tell Me Why, but more on that later.)
Finally, I was on the road to my lifelong dream to be a crime writer, with a sprinkle of romance, of course!
But then, one thing led to another and I became a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, which kind of re-complicated things a little. I wouldn’t alter it though; our path is always for a reason and I have two great jobs that are creative, fun, and that help or entertain people in different ways. It suits my two personalities: the often-solitary and sedentary writer, and the sociable active me, and it’s fun when both “mes” come out and play when the writer goes public.
Going back to our path being for a reason, well, there were hurdles ahead of us when we took that treechange, including several health challenges for me that set back my writing, but these steeled the resolve to live more in the “now” and to “make things happen”. The only person that could make my writing dream transpire was me. And obstacles would crop up, but I needed to work around them, with occasional gearshifts in my expectations.
So, I went on with revising my first novel, changed the working title a few times until I was happy, and kept at it until Tell Me Why was published in 2014 (woo-hoo!), with my next instalment coming out soon. That dream of a series of books with my name on the spine was coming true.
But life with its ups and downs served us a few more snags, not least being a research trip to Daylesford that my hubby took to extremes …
His fall down the stairs at our B&B tested me, and ambulance-response times (yes, the info in Dead Again is accurate) and gave us unwanted experience with the Emergency Department at Ballarat and post-concussion syndrome (just: OMG!).
But later in the year, things turned for the better. Hubby was steadily returning to his pre-accident self, and my second novel starring Georgie Harvey and John Franklin, Dead Again, was signed by Atlas Productions … with my fabulous publisher choosing photographs I took in Yandoit (a rural area in Victoria that features in the book) for the cover!
And now it’s 21 April 2017 and my latest book baby flies into the wilds. I hope readers enjoy it!
Dead Again is Sandi’s second rural crime thriller starring Georgie Harvey and John Franklin and can be enjoyed as a standalone or as part of her rural crime series. It is the sequel to her debut novel, Tell Me Why, which won the 2015 Davitt Award Readers’ Choice and was also shortlisted for the 2015 Davitt Award Best Debut.
It is almost two years since wildfires ravaged the tiny town of Bullock, and Melbourne journalist, Georgie Harvey, is on assignment in the recovering town to write a feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy.
In nearby Daylesford, police officer, John Franklin, is investigating a spree of vandalism and burglaries, while champing to trade his uniform for the plain clothes of a detective.
When Georgie’s story and Franklin’s cases collide, she not only finds herself back in conflict with the man she’s been trying to forget since their first encounter, but she uncovers the truth about how the fires started – a truth no-one is wanting to believe.
“Sandi Wallace has mastered rural crime.” Michael Radburn, author of The Falls
“A gripping twist on the bushfire threat all Australians live with.” Jaye Ford, author of Darkest Place