Brisbane author takes us on a journey
LIVING in suburban Brisbane does not mean an author can not take her readers off on a sweeping journey across the world and back in time.
Christine Wells writes historical romantic fiction from her home in Brisbane and, with exhaustive research and a passion for the genre, she transports readers to a vastly different world than the capital of Queensland.
Her latest novel, The Traitor's Girl, has just been released in Australia and is based on real female intelligence operatives from the Second World War.
It gives insight into the war era and the largely unknown role women played.
The story moves from the streets of Seville to Paris and war-torn London in the 30s and 40s through to the modern English countryside.
Although this is Christine's 12th book, it is only her second novel to be released in Australia.
Her other 10 titles have all been published in the US, where her legion of fans wait impatiently for her next work.
"I originally started writing historical romance set in England but when I tried a couple of those in Australia (for publication) I was told they don't publish things like that here,” Christine said.
"Then I discovered there was a huge market for those books in America. I went to New York to try my luck and now I have 10 books published in the US.”
Swapping commercial and contract law for writing historical fiction has obviously worked well for Christine.
Her former career in law often finds a way into her books. One of the lead characters, Eve, was inspired by a woman named Jane Archer, a barrister-turned- intelligence officer who worked for MI-5 shortly before the war.
"I am fascinated by the British and their history but I have an Australian protagonist in each of my books,” Christine said.
"My research is fascinating. For my previous book, The Wife's Tale, I went to the Isle of Wight.
"It was wonderful soaking up the atmosphere. I stayed in a house that I turned into a house in the book.
"I was right on the spot, a wonderful way to get hands-on research. For The Traitor's Girl I did a lot of reading but many of the places I talk about in the book don't exist now, they were bombed.”
Christine never tires of her research, which she does well before she plots her storylines, and then adds to it along the way
"Reading the national archives is good research,” she said.
"Every few years the classified MI5 files are released. There is a lot more coming out about the war that we don't know about yet.”