Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia


Barbara Pyett asked me to respond to a challenge. Answer four questions about writing, she said. Eeezy peezy lemon squeezy, I thought. What could be easier?

Several things, as it turns out. Running a marathon, for one. Or making cheese soufflé in the rubbish oven I’ve got that spits out more heat than it generates. However, since I have no intention of tackling either a marathon or a soufflé (and fuelled by two glasses of red wine) I’ve done my best to rise to the writing challenge.

My apologies to the three people I have now invited to take part in the challenge. Your writing intrigues and delights me so I would love to learn more about you, but please don’t feel obliged to respond.

You are:

Here are the questions:

1. What am I working on at the moment?

2. How does my work differ from others of this genre?

3. Why do I write what I do?

4. How does my writing process work?


And here are my answers:

1. What am I working on at the moment?

A book on farming families, loosely titled Life on the Land. I’ve interviewed eight families and written eight stories and the manuscript was submitted to the publisher three weeks ago. I’m waiting to hear what they think. As an insecure writer I’m expecting them to tell me it’s rubbish, after all, I’m not a farmer, I don’t have any children and I’m a vegetarian. What possessed me to agree to it? The ten thousand dollar advance had a lot to do with it.

2. How does my work differ from others of this genre?

Hopefully it doesn’t. I’m hoping no-one will spot that I’m a vegetarian with no children who knows nothing about farming or family life on the land.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I wrote a biography called Dream Wheeler because the subject (an extraordinary woman called Jane Lambert) inspired and delighted me and I wrote Love in the Outback because I thought my story might help other people (and entertain them along the way). I write because it’s the only thing I’m really any good at doing. I want to write fiction next.

4. How does my writing process work?

I sit down at my desk first thing in the morning and I write. If I do anything else – check emails, put the washing on, take the fluff out of the dryer – I don’t produce anything worth reading. I also edit as fiercely as I can. Hopefully I take out any ‘fluff’ that way.

If anyone else would like to respond to these questions, please go for it!


5 comments on “Q&A

  1. bkpyett
    May 31, 2014

    Deb, thank you for participating in this challenge allowing us to get to know you and your writing better. I look forward to hearing good news about ‘ Life on the Land’ and reading your other books.
    Best wishes, Barbara


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      June 3, 2014

      Thank you Barbara, it was also lovely to find out more about you (and I’m still waiting to hear what the publisher thinks of the manuscript!)


  2. monsoonwendy
    June 1, 2014

    Hello lovely,
    Marianne Elliott, an author and yogini, says that she tells stories “because it’s how we make sense of our experiences, how we come to understand ourselves and each other, how we explore other possible futures and how we share our vision for the world with each other.” Telling stories is absolutely NOT the only thing you are good at, but you are very good at it. And your stories connect and clarify. Keep telling them! Looking forward to the fiction!


  3. debhuntinbrokenhill
    June 1, 2014

    Thanks Wendy, and I love the quote from Wendell Berry in your latest post – “It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.” So inspiring!



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 31, 2014 by and tagged , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

%d bloggers like this: