Apart from a select few, most of my novels are set in Australia’s harsh outback, a vibrant swirl of colours and cultures, or in Australia’s small country towns, a tightknit backdrop woven with secrets and complexities.

What makes these locations special? Why do I keep coming back to them time and time again?

I spent my childhood in a small country town, population 1,428. You can imagine my shock then, when at 13 we…