Half of my upcoming novel, STORM SEASON, is set in a mostly fictional National Park. The park is in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW and shifts between sweeping bushland, flooded grey-green gum trees and lush rainforest, across flat-topped mountains and down into clear moss green creeks edged with sandstone in golds and rust brown. There are rough campsites, gravel roads and lookouts. The book’s a summer story, so the air is heavy and the gum trees have that summer haze.
The novel starts with a tropical storm that sweeps through the National Park and traps city girl Lien with park ranger Claudie. Claudie’s cabin’s sat there for decades and holds most of the storm out, but it’s tiny, just two rooms with a huge view of the trees and the valley. The storm and the resultant floods block of any chance of leaving for a few days. The women don’t seem to mind.
This is a part of Australia that’s not outback or city or beaches. It’s extraordinary in its own way.