Writing Taylor’s Law

A farmer’s daughter, with no passion to work the farm

A swindle igniting a passion for justice

A toddler—mother dead, father unknown

An Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) news team—reporter, pilot and cameraman—killed in a fatal helicopter crash in Lake Eyre during a routine assignment

A man whose private homage to his father includes sporting a ponytail and an earring

Some fact, some fiction. Add wealth, power, greed, envy balanced by compassion, loyalty and love and ignite with passion and imagination.

What’s the starting point of a book?

For me, the initial trigger may be a single incident, like the helicopter crash. It appears in a scrolling news ticker on your screen—appearing—disappearing, yet so many lives are impacted by this event in small and monumental ways.

Who takes responsibility for the child or children left behind when a single parent dies? Who wins if there are credible conflicting claims?

Stories are born of other stories, the layers built slowly and carefully so the initial inspiration is woven invisibly into the fabric of the new tale. Stories take time, research, planning and endless revision—at least for me.

You give your new tale to trusted readers, who point out the implausibility of an action, the inconsistency of another, an annoying characteristic you’ve assigned a major player, tell you that you’ve been too abrupt in a change of scene or left hanging an unanswered question.Perhaps, if you knew at the beginning how many hours of work were required to unearth that little tale you might have left it buried in the jumble of your imagination. Sometimes the challenges make me more determined to tell the story well, to convince the reader my idea has merit. I can’t let it go. Sometimes I set it aside for months or years—I haven’t yet succumbed to the notion of forever. Sometimes, my days are pure joy.

You’ll have to wait until March 2023 for Ella’s sister’s story—Grace under Fire, but you’ll find an excerpt at the back of Taylor’s Law.

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