Café Cala welcomes Di Morrissey

Hi Di, welcome to Café Cala,

Di Morrissey 2014 credit M R Photography (lores)


I’m thrilled to have you visit Café Cala. I’m a great admirer of your writing. I’ve Ioved all of your books and they sit on the top shelf of my bookcase. I’ve been making some strawberry oat squares for us this morning.



1 Where did you get the idea for The Road Back?

All my novels are inspired by landscape. The book was partially inspired by the changing face of the media and the chaos and tragedy in so many parts of the world. So the idea of a place of tranquility, peace and beauty was appealing. A place where a small community cares for each other and children have simple and happy childhoods they will look back and treasure.

2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

The satisfaction, joy, and wonder of having a story spinning in my head evolve into a printed book. Then the feedback from readers who are touched by what I write.

3 How did you start writing?

I started making up stories when I was a small girl. An only child in remote and magical place surrounded by bushland and wildlife. After meeting poetess Dorothea Mackellar at age 7 she inspired me to put my stories in a book one day.

4 What would you say has helped you most?

Being disciplined and passionate and never giving up. Working as a journalist was very helpful. (there were no creative writing courses back then!)

5 What are you working on at the moment?

Novel 25, set in far north Queensland, which looks at the conflicted relationship of a brother and sister who come to learn the diverse and dramatic history of this part of Australia.

6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?


7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy non fiction, Australian history, novels set in Asia (like Amitav Gosh) and contemporary popular fiction.

The Road Back


In The Road Back, I weave a tale of reconnection and starting over. Journalist Chris Baxter is at a crossroads. Returning with his teenage daughter to his mother’s house in the beautiful township of Neverend, Chris hopes to pick up the pieces after his life takes an unexpected turn.

“sometimes taking the road back is the start of moving forward.”


Published by Pan Macmillan at all good bookshops.

You can find Di at :











Café Cala welcomes Helene Young

Hi Helene, Welcome to Café Cala.

Helene Young Author Photo (QF)It’s great to have you back to Café Cala. I love your writing. I’ve just finished Northern Heat and it certainly lived up to my expectations! I’m looking forward to your visit to chat with us at Noosaville Library in July. This morning I’ve been making some cranberry and coconut bread. I remember you preferred coffee last time. Is that still the case?

Hi Maggie, coffee with a slice of cranberry and coconut bread sounds divine! Thanks so much for inviting me around for another chat. Can’t wait to catch up in person in July.

1 Where did you get the idea for Northern Heat?

The backstory in Northern Heat is domestic violence and the insidious nature of abuse. A very good friend of mine, who seemed to have it all, finally left her husband and it was a wake up call that family violence can happen to anyone. She was a university educated professional as was her husband. I hope I’ve done justice to her and all the women who shared their experiences with me.

Northern Heat is set in Cooktown and that aspect grew from a weekend when I conducted a writing course in the town and fell in love with the characters and the landscape. I have played with the topography a little so I hope the locals forgive me!

Flat Cover Northern Heat HRIn steamy northern Queensland, Conor is rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown’s youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and the opportunity to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark. The local GP is hiding her own secrets and struggling to raise her feisty teenage daughter alone.

When a severe cyclone menaces the coast, threatening to destroy everything in its path, tensions come to a head – and the weather is not the only danger. Cut off from the world and with her life on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they’ll both lose someone they love.

2 With all these books you’ve written, what have you found most rewarding about your writing?

I’m still very touched to receive letters and emails from readers who tell me that my story has made a difference. I first started writing stories to entertain so it’s enormously rewarding to know I may have touched someone’s life.

3 How did you start writing?

I loved English at school and probably should have taken my teacher’s advice and studied journalism, instead I was desperate to fly. I’d always believed I’d write a book one day, but it took until 1998 when I started work with QantasLink in Cairns that I found the time to sit down and do just that. It was another 10 years before I submitted my work to a publisher and another 2 years before my first book was released.

4 Are there any particular challenges to writing on Roo Bin Esque?

The only real challenge is the distraction of the world outside the boat. Writing in the dawn is my favourite time of day, but then there are magnificent sunrises to be photographed. By mid-morning Capt G is likely to be heading off in his kayak or the dinghy and that’s always going to make me want to close my computer and join him. Since I’m now giving it my best shot at being a full time writer we will have some adjusting to do to get used to us both being home all day, every day. I’m sure we’ll come to a compromise, but I also know there will be days when the lure of the ocean is too great to be ignored!

5 What would you say has helped you most?

I think being part of organisations such as Romance Writers of Australia and the Queensland Writers Centre has been enormously beneficial. Not only do they provide technical support, but also camaraderie. Writing is so solitary and the friendships I’ve made through those organisations help to fill that space.

6 What are you working on at the moment?

I have two projects on the go at the moment and a third I really want to write. One’s set in North Queensland and is another romantic suspense. One’s set in the world of aviation and is more a straight crime story and the other one is Freya’s story. She’s a secondary character in Northern Heat and her story needs to be told. Crunch time will happen in about two months…

7 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Sit down and start writing. You can’t edit a blank page!!

8 Which authors are you reading right now?

I’ve recently finished new releases by Kylie Kaden, Shannon Curtis, Anne Gracie, Jenn J McLeod and Fiona McIntosh.

Find Helene at

Follow on FB at: HeleneYoungAustralianAuthor

On Twitter: @heleneyoung

Or Instagram: heleneyoungauthor

Buy Links

Northern Heat Trailer You Tube: