Monday 20 August 2018

The Joy of Research

by Annie Seaton

Best-selling and award-winning author Annie Seaton believes in living and breathing her stories. Each winter Annie and her husband leave the beach to roam the remote areas of Australia for story ideas and research.

I love the research that takes place before I write a story. Travelling across and around this beautiful country that we live in, up close and personal. Over the past six years we have travelled the north of Australia to research my settings, and books have been set in the Kakadu, the Daintree, the east Kimberley, and most recently with my new release in the magnificent Whitsunday region. My next two books will be set in very different locations, one in a city and one in the desert, but again with the consideration of issues threatening the landscape, and stories that embed a sense of community and family.

One of my favourite destinations is the Whitsunday region where emerald-green islands sparkle in a sapphire ocean. Secluded beaches, coral reefs and towering hoop pines are all part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area. It is a stunning and pristine landscape threatened by human activity and I thoroughly enjoyed the research here for Whitsunday Dawn.

For me as a storyteller, presenting the authentic settings that I have experienced personally is as important as the historical research of the time periods that I explore. I have been variously described recently by some of my reviewers as an 'eco-adventure author', and an 'activist eco-writer'. I am passionate about the preservation of our pristine landscapes and I enjoy raising a variety of environmental issues in my stories, as well as exploring community relationships and the importance of family.

The research for my current release Whitsunday Dawn was very special. We were fortunate to spend a total of three months (over different periods) in the region last year as I researched. Not only did I explore the setting in depth as we went to the islands, but back on the mainland I spoke to locals who had lived there in the war years when part of the story is set.

The locals described for me the war years in Cannon Valley and provided a rich tapestry of life in the region when it was only a tiny settlement of farms and fishermen. The historical research was deep, and I also used primary sources on the National Library Trove site. A recent review says:

"Seaton deserves much praise for her dedication to her research and for bringing these facts to our attention via a compelling narrative."

But so much credit must be given to those I interviewed during my visits to the Whitsundays.

Readers...tell me what is your absolutely favourite place in Australia...and why?

Annie Seaton lives near the beach on the east coast of Australia, fulfilling her lifelong dream of being an author. After majoring in history at university, her career and further study spanned the education sector with the completion of a Masters Degree in Education. Then working as an academic research librarian, a high school principal and a university tutor, until she took up her full-time writing career. Annie's Porter Sisters series is published in printed in Australia and New Zealand with Pan MacMillan, and Whitsunday Dawn with Harper Collins in the Harlequin MIRA imprint to be followed by Shadows of Undara next year. Annie also has many books published digitally internationally across many genres and they are listed on her website.

If you'd like to learn more about Annie Seaton and her stories, please visit her website and join her newsletter on the front page of the website. You can also connect with Annie via Facebook: and Twitter: and Instagram:

I love to love my beautiful family. They are my life and the love of family shines through my stories.

I love to laugh with my friends...and with my characters, laugh until I snort.

I love to learn about our beautiful country, the landscapes and the history. I love to travel in our caravan and learn about new places, and experience the beauty of sunrises in the outback, sunsets over the ocean, and every other beautiful location that our Australia offers.

Thank you, Breathless in the Bush, for having me.


  1. Annie, you write about beautiful places in this world I have never been. Which is awesome! Someone said that everything they know they learnt from a romance novel. Well, I wouldn’t go quite that far, but I love travelling from my romance novel arm chair and enjoying a slice of life from a place I might never visit. So thank you! One of my favourite places in Australia is connected with extended family. We’ve been holidaying at Crescent Head on the NSW coast (east of Kempsey) for many years now. Two extended families come together and enjoy two weeks of sun, sand and family fun. It’s very special, because it’s so rare we are all together! I guess home -and special places - are where the heart is.

  2. Hi Annie, Like you I loved the Whitsundays. I think the beauty of Whitehaven beach is incredible. My favourite place in Australia is Kangaroo Island. It has majestic cliffs, wild ocean on the Antarctic side, historic lighthouses, caves with fascinating tales from the past, sea lions and fur seals and so much more.

  3. Hi Annie

    I have this one waiting for me and can't wait to read it, what a fabulous post sounds like the research is awesome as for a favourite place I don't know whether I have one yet because there are still so many places that I have yet to visit :)

    Have Fun


  4. Hi Annie! What a great life you lead, travelling all over our beautiful country. My favourite place is the northern part of Australia. We spent a holiday travelling from Broome to Darwin by boat and, WOW!, did we see some fabulous sights along the way! Giant crocs sunbathing, ancient Aboriginal art, whales frolicking, spectacular land formations. The list goes on...

  5. I bet your list to places to go is still huge Annie. Would you say that setting is a character in your book or definitely just a backdrop?

    1. Setting is my first character, Cassandra :)

  6. Hi Annie, it was so lovely to chat at the Harlequin author events last Thursday. Thanks for the interesting blog. My favourite place is diving The Great Barrier Reef. I hope that the reef is there for many generations to come!

    1. It was great to catch up and yes... the reef must be preserved!

  7. Hi Annie. How lucky are you to be able to travel around this beautiful country that is Australia. And to be able to write about it is a lovely bonus for readers. Which part of Australia is my favourite? I love every part of the land, from the dramatic rock formations to the gentle waves of the ocean, but I adore the bush and forest and absolutely love the Blue Mountains region with its lush bush and ragged escarpments and meandering rivers and so much more!


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