Research for Man Drought…

Yesterday I took my three heroes-in-training (we left the big hero at home to man the shop) to our friend’s farm in Dandaragen – a small town in the wheat belt of Western Australia and about two hours car drive from where we live. Oh, that’s two hours car drive if you’re not ME and get lost and go the VERY long way around.

My gorgeous friend Peta and her “hero” Chris invited us to their farm because I’ve been hassling her with farming questions as I write MAN DROUGHT. Peta is actually in the acknowledgments of JILTED (Mira Australia, June this year if I haven’t rammed that into your head enough yet) because she generously read the draft of JILTED for me to check the farming stuff was accurate – so any mistakes, look to her, not me 🙂 Nah, not really!! Any mistakes will definitely be MINE.

Anyway… I was asking her about stubble burning last week – Gibson the hero of MAN DROUGHT is currently doing this on his property – and Peta said they were doing that this week so would I like to bring the boys up for a night for ”research.” I said YES PLEASE!

(night time stubble burning)

The boys had an absolute blast playing in the sand (they’re installing a swimming pool) with Peta and Chris’s kids and I got the chance to pick brains about things my hero Gibson might be getting up to this time of year on his Wheat Belt property.

(Our feral kids ready to go out into the paddock and watch the burning at night – note, the eyes are due to my iPhone camera, not what the kids usually look like!)

MAN DROUGHT (like JILTED) is what I’ve coined semi-rural romance. The romance is definitely the key player as opposed to some of my other favourite rural authors, where the setting is almost like an extra character. But even though this is the case, I hope that my small town setting is authentic and I strive to make this part of the books as accurate as possible.

There’s ALWAYS so much fun to be had on a farm and being out in the paddocks reminds me why I like living rural and why I’m glad my kids get to experience farming life sometimes, even if we’re not a farming family 🙂

Here’s a few more pics from our adventure:

(Daytime stubble burning)

 (Trouble throwing paddy melons into the fire!)

(His Lordship with two “Grugs” – character from one of his fave books)

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16 thoughts on “Research for Man Drought…

  1. Love the pics Rach. My son looked at the pic of the kids all in the boot of the car and said “sheesh that lady has a LOT of kids!” I had to explain they weren’t all yours!

  2. Looks like a wonderful visit! The woman across the road from us grew up on a wheat-belt farm in WA (she has 3 boys, btw, and my undying admiration) and often talks about how different it is over there to farming here on the Darling Downs. One thing – as a girl, she and her sisters weren’t allowed to swim in dams. We’d die without ours, so that really interested me.
    Loved seeing the landscape in your pics, and the glowing eyed demon-children!

    • Natalie, unfortunately too many dams on black soil plains like the Downs are treacherous for swimmers. I grew up there and remember hearing of far too many deaths in them. Wet black soil where I grew up really sticks to anything and everything – and I think a trap at the bottom of dams there for feet trying to push up?!

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