Book Inspiration

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

One thing that thrilled me about the cover for The Landowner’s Secret, my upcoming book, was that the designer really took the setting into consideration.

Yes, the story is set in colonial Australia, and yes, I know many people think of Australia in terms of either beaches or deserts. However, *my* Australia is about the mountains and the bush, and my book is set in the shadow of the Brindabella Range.

I look at these mountains every day. I can see them from the backyard, the front yard, from half the windows of the house (which proved pretty scary when fire came rolling down the hills during the devastating Canberra firestorm!).

Here is an image from of the mountains from Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons. I think the view is reflected so well on the book cover:

Mount_Ginini_-_Namadgi_National_Park_-_2 ACT NSW Canberra Region Australia October 2006

Here are a couple of random shots of I’ve taken while in the car (not driving!). The farmland in the second one is where I’ve set my hero’s homestead.

driving-south-canberra-tuggeranong-australia-brindabella-ranges-mountains-anzac-day-25th-april-2015-sonya-heaney

winter-queanbeyan-to-canberra-australia-5th-june-2015-sonya-heaney-oksana-heaney-brindabella-ranges-travel-road-state-border

I know a lot of book covers in this world don’t have a lot to do with what’s actually written on the pages, and I consider myself very lucky that mine does!

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On this day: the death of Granny Smith

Granny_Smith Maria Ann Sherwood known as Granny Smith Granny Smith Apple Inventor 19th Century Victorian Australia Victorian Era

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Maria Ann Smith – known as Granny Smith – the creator of the green “Granny Smith” apple, died in the colony of New South Wales, Australia on the 9th of March, 1870.

In 1868 Smith was handed a box of French crab apples from Tasmania at a market in Sydney. After she used them for baking, she discovered a seed in the discarded peels had sprouted in a compost heap. She continued to tend it in its place near a creek.

After her death the property’s new owner marketed the fruit as “Granny Smith”.

Smith married in England, having eight children (who survived early childhood) before emigrating to Australia in 1838.

Australians off to war.

6th_Division_boards_the_troopships,_Pyrmont,_Sydney,_9-10_January_1940_-_by_Sam_Hood_(4175140213)Members of the Second Australian Imperial Force boarding ships for the Middle East. Secon

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9th-10th January 1940: Members of the Second Australian Imperial Force boarding ships in Sydney to travel to the Middle East. These soldiers defeated the Italians in North Africa. Second World War.

On this day…

Frederick Farrand Trollope, aged almost three, in his Sunday best and holding a toy sabre. Photographed in Grafton on the 29th of December, 1878. New South Wales Australia VIctorian Era

Frederick Farrand Trollope, aged almost three, in his Sunday best and holding a toy sabre. Photographed in Grafton on the 29th of December, 1878.

On the Clarence River, in the north of New South Wales, Australia, Grafton received city status in 1885.

On this day: the end of a war

Sydney, NSW. 1918-11-11. Crowd in Martin Place celebrating the news of the signing of the armistice. Remembrance Day. First World War One Australian War Memorial Canberra

11th November 1918: People crowd into Martin Place in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to celebrate the armistice that ended the First World War.

Australia committed to the war from the outset in 1914, with 421,809 citizens serving in the military. 331,781 Australians served overseas during the conflict, a significant number for a country whose population numbered below five million in 1914.

The image is from the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.