I’m a tad late today in getting this out – so apologies and all that. I am, in fact, on holiday in Cairns in Far North Queensland. When I say holiday, it’s more of a quick break – we arrived on Sunday and I’ll be back at the day job on Friday.
This time last week, though, we were in lockdown so had fingers and toes crossed that lockdown would lift in time for us to catch our flight – which, thankfully, it did.
I was here this time last year too – although then Queensland was emerging from the long lockdown and only Queenslanders were allowed up here. This time it’s school holidays and there are a lot more people around – although, unfortunately, not from NSW where greater Sydney is still locked down. I’ll be blogging a bit about my travels over the next few weeks on and anyways – although if you follow my Instagram you will be completely up to date anyway.
They’ve suffered a lot up here. Almost solely reliant on tourism – and international tourism at that – the Cairns region had the dubious distinction of having more people on Jobkeeper than anywhere else in the country (as a proportion of the population). Given there are more shops closed than when I was here in March, I suspect that’s a function of Jobkeeper ending at the end of March.
Cairns features (very briefly) in The Little Cafe On Beach Road was partly set here. In fact, a random discussion with a Master Reef Guide on the Great Barrier Reef snorkelling tour we did gave me the inspiration for part of the storyline. It also sent me down a research rabbit hole looking at things like coral bleaching, coral planting and the role of citizen science on the reef.
Of course, like most research, hardly any of that has ended up in the novel, but that really isn’t the point of it, I guess.
Speaking of The Little Cafe On Beach Road, the structural edit came back last week – and I’ve already finished it! I know! The quickest edit in history. I worked all weekend, at the airport, on the plane, and finished it off on the balcony in our hotel on Sunday evening (lead pic). Done. I sent it off for copy edit today.
I’m planning to release it in October when we’re in Queenstown (fingers and toes crossed) so will now get to getting the covers done and pre-release etc up. I’ll have the dates for you in next week’s edition.
As for Alice? I haven’t touched this since the edit came back – but will get back into that on the flight home tomorrow.
Until next time…