The Convict Birthstain Collection
The term "Convict Birthstain" was used by the last Governor before the Federation of Australia. Earl Beauchamp voiced these words in Perth, and his words arrived in Sydney before he did. He lasted only eighteen months in the job before Sir Edmund Barton became our first Prime Minister. (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/9448508)
Over two hundred years after the arrival of the First Fleet, many Australians are descended from those convicts and the 160,000 plus convicts that followed them.
There are three sides to the colonialization of our land. The Aboriginal oppression, the English domination and then... There are the convicts. Often, they were ripped from the loving arms of family and banished halfway around the globe. Most never returned to the motherland.
Having said that, living in this wonderful country gave them a life they could not have dreamed about in England.
Between us, my husband and I share seven convicts in our direct bloodlines. There are, of course, many more if you count those who married their siblings. Many of my books have elements of those convict lives.
I tell stories that are nice because many of these people were nice, and their stories are untold.
Women, in particular, were sent out for petty crimes. Saying "NO" to a man in public could have you arrested and banished. Thefts of over 1 shilling (ten cents) were enough to have you transported. NB Many women intentionally stole to be transported as they had little choice in England but become prostitutes. Life in the very early days of settlement was no bed of roses. Disease and hunger were rife, and life was cruel. Vile abuse of women was rampant, but life in London was not that much better.
Not all of my characters are convicts, but they must live in a settlement where emancipists (freed convicts) were the majority of the population.
So far, there are nine books written in this Collection. (Amazon Links)
No More My Love ( Long Listed in the 2023 Historical Fiction company's Competion)
The Vine Weaver ( Long Listed in the 2023 Historical Fiction company's Competion)
NB One character who appears in many, if not most, of the stories is Major Ned Grace. I bet you will fall in love with him! He is modelled after a dear friend who portrays many of the wonderful attributes of Ned. He knows who he is! If I get stuck on how Ned would react, then I wonder how this dear friend would respond and put those words into Ned's mouth!