Fair Dinkum Baker’s Dozen #9: Rosanne Dingli

This is #9 of our series in which Australian crime fiction authors have the opportunity to share some of their lesser known secrets. Or not, it’s entirely up to them. We provide the authors with 13 beginnings and, like the creative geniuses they are, they turn them into sentences (or paragraphs, or full blown essays should the urge arise).

Rosanne Dingli

I often wonder… what would have happened if my first short stories and poems had not been accepted, way back in 1985 when I was living in country NSW. I missed the ocean so much I would sit bolt upright in bed at dead of night, thinking I’d heard waves crashing on rocks. I had to be near the sea, so I moved, and my writing changed, but my short pieces started winning prizes, so I kept it up.

I will never forget… the feeling when I got my first freelance writing job after moving to Perth. The editor was terrifying, but I learned so much from her. I wrote about interiors and people’s flash houses, and found fifty different ways to say ‘lovely kitchen’. It was real money, good money, but I wanted to sell fiction … write a book … get reviewed in the papers. It all happened.

My greatest fear… is breaking the spout of my big yellow teapot.

My worst job… ever in my long working life was manning a new travel agency in Floriana, Malta, where no one ever came. I was so bored I doodled and wrote meaningless stuff on the backs of travel posters of Venice and Rome and Florence. I had no idea then I’d write a thriller based in Venice, among other lovely ‘destinations’.

Friends would describe me as… forgetful, friendly and feisty. Also vague, voluble and vociferous. But perhaps not exactly in those words – they certainly know me as a word person.

I will never… skydive, abseil, do a fun-run (what an oxymoron that is!) or sail around the world, but I do greatly and bemusedly admire those who can.

I’m in dire need of… a secretary. Most writers will tell you that. This office needs more than just what I can do.

My childhood was… difficult, but full of the kind of stuff most artistic people will mention: books, music, art, card-playing. Also an eccentric mother, a father who spouted things in Latin, grandparents who hummed Verdi, an uncle who painted and sang, an uncle with a printing press, a mad aunt or two. And yes, I’ve written stuff that came from all that.

I wish I had… learned to play an instrument (other than four chords on the guitar) as a child. Watching my children play now makes me so envious.

I wish I hadn’t… stopped singing in a choir. Something for my retirement, if it ever comes.

The thing I hate most about being a writer is… creating that first rough draft. Hard stuff – everything after that is very, very hard work but enjoyable. That first setting down of a story is well-nigh impossible.

The last book I read was… Streets on a Map by Dale Harcombe, a fellow member of ANZauthors, an online group of writers from Australia and New Zealand. It’s a lovely ‘living in a country town’ book that’s very Australian, yet has universal aspects of community and consolation.

The next book I’ll write is… a thriller that’s driving me crazy, because it’s nearly all in my head now, and I can almost see the protagonists. Soon, I’ll be able to hold my hands over the keyboard and it’ll all pour out. Won’t it?

Being an Australian author means… sharing in a very eclectic history of literature that in reality comes from many parts of the world. There is a lot in Australian culture that is rich and deep, with references that traverse and transcend barriers, borders, and frontiers. The tyranny of distance dissolves into a meaningful sense of belonging to the world, when one shares the writings of so many interesting authors, many of whom – like me – are from somewhere else. And Somewhere Else, we all know, is a very exotic place.

Maltese-born Rosanne now lives in Western Australia and her most recently published book is a romantic thriller called ACCORDING TO LUKE which was published in March 2011. The book’s blurb gives this description of the book

Shattered by the breakdown of yet another romance, Jana Hayes becomes a recluse in her tiny Venice apartment and buries herself in her work as an expert art conservator … until an ancient religious icon brings Roman Catholic priest Rob Anderson into her life. The secret they discover hidden in the mysterious artefact turns out to be not only devastating, but deadly. And it has the star-crossed couple running for their lives across Europe and the Middle East, pursued by three ruthless opposing factions, each for its own reason determined to torture and kill to lay hands on the world-shaking evidence uncovered.

While Rob struggles with his priestly vows and Jana with an overbearing billionaire mother who holds the purse strings to an outrageous ransom demand, they discover, with the help of an ageing genius symbologist, more and more damning revelations about one of the New Testament’s most sacred gospel writers – and as the evidence mounts, the stakes rise and the blood flows.

You can find out more about Rosanne and her other publications at her website