Goldfields at the Heart of the Historical Novelist

AFTER focusing on stories and characters from the UK, historical fiction writer Karen Turner turns her attention to the Victorian gold fields.

Having built a career as a financial writer, Turner published her first novel Torn up in 2013, the first of a love trilogy followed by Inviolate in 2014, and storm bird 2019, all in the English countryside.

The Wodonga-based author said now is the time to focus on her home country, working on her new book Fever.

“I was brought up by my grandmother in Ballarat, and I don’t think I really appreciated the history of colonial Australia or the gold rush and all of its culture when I grew up there,” said she declared.

At the age of 12 Turner moved to Albury and visited Beechworth regularly.

Having lived in the UK before returning home, she now finds inspiration in historic buildings located throughout regional Victoria.

“I went to Ballarat and Beechworth and spent time there and really started immersing myself in the mining culture and the history and the stories started coming and I was inspired to write Fever.

The book, slated for publication late next year, will primarily be set in Ballarat, but the characters will move to the goldfields.

As part of her research, Turner said she wanted to visit Bendigo and delve into the history

“History in Europe is palpable, you can go there and physically touch it,” she said. “I think that’s why now I spend so much time visiting Ballarat and Beechworth, I like to touch history.”

During her visit, Turner will also present a workshop to the Bendigo Writers Council at the Bendigo Library on Wednesday, June 29.

She said she hoped “people would leave there knowing something they didn’t know when they arrived.”

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