I write historical novels set in New Zealand, starting in the 1880s. I was born in New Zealand, and apart from two years in England have lived here all my life. I’m married to my childhood sweetheart, who grew up in the farming valley that’s the inspiration for my imaginary one.
We have a few acres in the countryside, where we have an orchard and a large vegetable garden, and a small flock of sheep to keep the grass down. We make our own wine, cider, jams, jellies and sauces.
While my books’ characters and their stories are my own invention, the broader setting is the real New Zealand of the period, with actual, historical events; from major ones like the Tarawera eruption, the baby farming scandal and the extension of suffrage to women through to relatively local events such as the great Bay of Plenty floods of 1892.
This site gives some extra background to the setting of the books. I’ve also included several chapters from an earlier version of Sentence of Marriage, giving a little more detail of the events in Amy’s life in the months before the book begins.