Please enjoy this guest post by Janet Simpson, posting from Down Under.
I’ve lived a nomadic existence. Lots of places have been home, London, Dorset, North Wales, Melbourne, Sydney and now Adelaide. This is the short version because I’ve moved from suburb to suburb and back and forth between places. I’ve also holidayed in the US, Canada and Europe. Life has never been boring, and home is wherever I happen to be. As long as I have my husband and can contact the kids I’m happy.
Risk taking is an addictive way of life. No sane person takes their first flight ever when they emigrate from the UK to Australia with a couple of thousand dollars in the bank, nowhere to live and no job to go to. Yet, when my husband suggested we pack up our lives, and our eighteen month old baby, and move down under I never even considered saying no.
One of the best ways to fit in to a new town is to lose your accent. I recently read that your accent is set by the time you are an adult. Grow up in one place and you’re unlikely to change your accent if you later move as an adult. However, because I moved around the UK as a kid my accent remained fluid. Within weeks of arriving somewhere new I sound like I’ve been there forever. It’s not a conscious change. In fact if I holiday somewhere for a few weeks, or talk to someone with a strong accent for too long, the way I speak changes. Whilst my accent now is an Adelaide accent I can, with little effort, go back to my southern English accent, a Welsh accent or even a Melbourne accent.
This doesn’t mean I can slip under the radar completely though. The accent is gone but some English words stubbornly remain. Mention that Monday is a Bank Holiday, not a public holiday, tell someone you’re going to the garage to get petrol, instead of the service station, or voice a good English insult like git and you’ve outed yourself as a Pom, as the Aussies like to call us. When someone asks me the date I have to think before answering because it’s not supposed to be cold in June and hot at Christmas in my head. And no matter how many years I live away from the UK I need a full English breakfast, and scones with cream and jam are an absolute must.
The experiences, people, places and wonder I’ve experienced by becoming a citizen of the world give me a huge tapestry to draw from. When I open the laptop and type Chapter One I am filled with excitement. Where should I set the story? Where will my characters come from?
When writing my very first mystery I knew it had to take place in the UK. Australian’s are larrikins, (good Aussie word for irreverent) but there is something innately funny about the English. I couldn’t write a serious book if my life depended on it. An English heroine and Irish hero with very different backgrounds and views about life were perfect together. Happily married, accident prone, easy going Daisy was the foil I needed for uptight Irish, cynically single PI, Solomon. And so Lost Cause, A Daisy Dunlop Mystery was born.
Daisy Dunlop thinks heir hunting will be an adventure. The man charged with ensuring her safety thinks it will be murder.
Daisy Dunlop loves a challenge but heir hunting is supposed to be easy. She can deal with anything her new job throws at her, except the bullets, bombs and working with P.I. Solomon Liffey. Her husband’s best friend is supposed to be looking out for her, but when she uncovers Solomon’s biggest secret he’s the one who needs protection.