Goldfields at the heart for historical novelist

July 3, 2022 BY

Look to the past: Author Karen Turner said her new book Fever has been inspired by historical buildings in Beechworth, Ballarat and Bendigo. Photo: SUPPLIED

AFTER focusing on stories and characters from the United Kingdom, historical fiction author Karen Turner is turning her attention to the Victorian goldfields.

Having built a career as a finance writer, Turner published her first novel Torn in 2013, the first of a romance trilogy followed by Inviolate in 2014, and Stormbird 2019, all set in the English countryside.

The Wodonga-based author said it’s now time to focus on her home state, working on her new book Fever.

“I was raised by my grandma in Ballarat, and I don’t think I really appreciated the history of colonial Australia or the gold rush and the whole culture of that when I was growing up there,” she said.

When she was 12 years old, Turner moved to Albury and visited Beechworth regularly.

Having lived in the UK before eventually returning home, she now finds inspiration from historic buildings located all over regional Victoria.

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

The book, slated for published late next year, will primarily be set in Ballarat, however characters will move around the goldfields.

As part of her research, Turner said she is keen to visit Bendigo and immerse herself in the history

“The history in Europe is touchable, 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 love to touch the history.”

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

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

For more information head to bendigowriterscouncil.com/calendar.