About Me

My name is Debbie Robson and I am the author of Tomaree, a WWII love story set in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia and Crossing Paths: the BookCrossing novel inspired by that wonderful website www.bookcrossing.com.  There is more about both books at http://www.tomareebook.com with links to buy. I am a booklover, bookcrosser and firm believer in synchronicity. There is no such thing as coincidence!

I am on the hunt for an agent for my novel set in Mayfield in 1920 and a screenplay set in Sydney in 1937. My current blogs are about the research I did  for my Mayfield novel with the working title of The Grey Silk Purse and now for my new manuscript with the working title of Paris Next Week. I am also keeping an eye out for the New Moon Dance Club that hosted the New Year’s Eve dance party for 1930 at the Trade’s Hall in Newcastle but the club is proving elusive!

Would love to hear from anyone interested in any of the above.

43 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Thanks for your interest in my blog, Debbie. Lovely to connect with someone from down under (what do you call those of us in North America?). I see we both write novels set in the early 20th century. I find the time fascinating – tantalizingly close and yet quite different.

    • Lovely to hear from you. Yes I’m fascinated by the time period. I always think once I’m around and coherent ie from around 1964 when I was seven well it’s not quite so interesting but those first fifty year of the 20th century. Wow!
      I haven’t had a good chance yet to look around your blog but will do so soon. In Oz we call North America the US mostly. Have you ever been to Australia?

      • Only once to the land of OZ with me tagging along on one of my husband’s business trips. Have been four times to NZ though I don’t suppose you think that’s a good substitute!!

      • Four times to NZ and once to Oz. That just won’t do. I am lucky to live in a great part of OZ with Port Stephens nearby, the Hunter vineyards not far away and the gorgeous countryside of places like Dungog. You’ll just have to come back!

  2. Hi Debbie, I am glad I got the chance to read your blog and will check in again. Thank you so much for following my blog on the Forgotten Guernsey evacuees of WW2, I do appreciate it. Will also follow you on twitter. Gill

  3. Hi Debbie. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. It’s always interesting to see which eras capture the imagination of others who like to write historical fiction. For me, at present, it is 13th century Europe.

    I’d never heard of bookcrossing before. What a fun concept!

  4. Hi Debbie,

    Since moving to Mayfield four years ago, I have been fascinated with learning more about Shelly Beach. I love the opportunity to meet with you one day to ‘pick your brains’ about this interesting part of the old Mayfield.



    • Happy to meet up with you. Working full time so the weekend would be best. I’m tied up Sunday but free this Saturday or the next. Let me know. Any excuse to talk about the old Mayfield, lol

    • Hi Sarah,
      I am now running a small co-operative in Newcastle called Starving in a Garret. I’ll be at 63 Stewart Avenue, Hamilton, working and writing between 10 and 1pm. You are very welcome to pop in and say hi this Saturday.

  5. Hi Debbie, I cannot apologise enough. I’ve been very busy this week with two sick little girls. Unfortunately, my 4 month old is still quite unwell ( we have had a LOT of outfit changes,for both Audrey and I. Who needs perfume when you can wear baby sick lol). Can we rebook for another weekend? As a token of goodwill and for your time, we will shout you breakfast/lunch!!

    • Sorry sorry to hear your little girls are sick! Don’t apologise! I’m late too replying as I have no internet at the moment. You don’t need to shout me lunch. I’m always broke though so a coffee would be nice. I’m not sure where you live for a midway point either.
      My mum is coming next weekend maybe the weekend of the 23rd? I’m very flexible and I haven’t forgotten how difficult it can be working around kids.
      My email address is lakelady2282@hotmail.com
      best wishes

  6. Hey Debbie,
    So great to meet you yesterday! Now I’ve found you on WP we can stalk each other for life. Hooray!
    Your fellow hisfic,

  7. Hi Debbie,

    I found your blog when I was searching for information on Alice Kitchen, and was a little gobsmacked to find that you’re a fellow Novacastrian!

    I was wondering if you’ve ever heard of a book called ‘The ANZACs’ by Patsy Adam-Smith? Part of it charts Kitchen’s journey from beginning to end of the war, supported by excerpts and occasionally full diary entries. A quick roll around google indicates that it’s probably the most comprehensive book about her, excepting ‘Heroic Australian Women in War’.

    • Hi Emily,

      Lovely to hear from you. Yes, I’ve heard of Alice and read the Anzacs quite some time ago. She was a marvellous and important chronicler. Thank goodness she wrote so much!
      I am getting up a co-operative called Starving in a Garret and will be doing a session this Saturday at Agosti’s in Darby Street, this Saturday from 11am to about 12.30 if you’d like to pop in and say hi.


  8. Hi Debbie,

    Yes, there are more of us DOWN UNDER, who are interested in this very topic. We are anxious to read your new book “The Grey Silk Purse”, so let us know when is it likely to come out.
    Best Wishes,
    S. Filipovic

    • Thank you so much. I do hope to get it out there! I’m currently looking for an agent for the manuscript and hopefully distribution for my two others. I really appreciate the support!

  9. Pingback: An Armenian Sketchbook, by Vasily Grossman, translated by John and Elizabeth Chapman | ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

  10. Hi Debbie,
    Nice to be in touch. I never dreamed I would write anything close to historical fiction. My lazy streak has been allergic to research; but after looking into some family history I have become obsessed with the early 20th century – my grandparents’ time. Unfortunately for me they were refugees from Asia Minor, which adds another layer of complexity to research for my story. Working on my first novel (loosely based on family history), having a novella and short story collection published in 2012. Lots of great research tips here. Thanks!

  11. Yes, it is! A good review too! I’ve marked it to read. Hopefully by the end of the year. I just need some 30 hour days! What I could achieve in that extra six!
    I’m with you in your fascination of the early twentieth century. Intriguing times!

  12. I like the old stories about the old wars. Number one favorite writer is Nevil Shute “On the beach” and “A town called Alice”. I have read many times. I hope you great luck and success with your books.

  13. Stumbled across this searching for info about Streeton’s Amiens painting. I’m planning a trip there next year. My great grandfather enlisted from Mayfield area in 1916 aged 39, (with possibly 10 children) and arrived in France around the time of the painting. He was killed “when a shell hit the cookhouse” around the time your character lost his leg. I’ve always been curious about what might have motivated him to sign up. Perhaps your book And blog will shed some light? Thanks.

    • Hi Laurie,
      They really were so patriotic in those days. Perhaps he just felt it was his duty. He was of course in the same area as my character because of the area he lived in and the battalion he was sent to after he joined up. Certain battalions and divisions did have much worse (if that’s possible) war experiences than others. I did some searching of Amiens when I was researching my character’s battalion and the Streeton painting came up.
      Do you know your great grandfather’s battalion? The war memorial’s webpage is really useful in looking up war records.

  14. Yes I have that information and I find an interesting twist. His service record from the National Archives says he lived in Hamilton, and spent time at Puckapunyal training as a machine gunner and he was part of 14 Machine Gun Company. We also have a group photo from his pre-embarkation depot in Fovant (Salisbury plains area) with him in cooks whites. His records show he was TOS (taken on strength) 20th Battalion in Apr 1918. One of the Red Cross casualty reports says “he was cooking for Batt Hdqrs and a shell landed right in his cookhouse” – 13 Aug 1918. Did the AIF practice multi-tasking/skills diversification? Perhaps they were recognising his age and his large family. Or was he such a poor shot he was made a cook? A subject for further investigation!
    In my research efforts I’ve also come across an obscure feature called the Fovant Badges (www.fovantbadges,com). They are regimental badges carves into the chalk downs above the village by the soldiers based there during WW1. The Australian badge is still visible and measures 51mx32m. Perhaps great grandfather had a hand in making or maintaining it?

  15. Wow. You have obviously done a lot of research. I decided on the Amiens battle for my character after reading about Amiens on wiki, particularly the woods nearby that inspired Streeton. Have you read The Lost Diggers about the all photos taken of Australian soldiers at Vignacourt. Not all the battalions were photographed of course but the Facebook page lists the battalions that were. I’m guessing that perhaps your relative was assigned to the cookhouse to maybe keep him safe. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way though!

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