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Okay so I have a heap of work in November, already slated. November is a ridiculous month to try and write a novel in a month. But then, every month is a ridiculous month to try and write a novel in a month! I was going to quit before I’d even started, not bother announcing my project, and just bow out quietly. But no! There will never be a good time to do this.

My stats on my NaNo page are pretty woeful. The last time I tried NaNo I think I gave up after a couple of days and only managed a couple of thousand words. But given how little time I give myself to write fiction these days, I reckon any number of words in the can is a win, whether I get to 50,000 or just 5,000.

So here it is, the announcement of the novel I intend to write (or at least start) in November: Sarah Grace. This was my grandmother’s name, but the book is not about her at all. I just needed a title and I’ve always liked the sound of her name as a protagonist. And here is the half-formed synopsis that will probably/definitely change almost as soon as I start writing:

Sarah Grace is convicted for child stealing and sentenced to transportation for life to Van Diemen’s Land. The child she was accused of stealing was her own, but her low station, lack of connections and the fact that the child’s father was her married employer means she had no choice but to surrender to the charges.

She boards a ship and heads to Australia with a band of miserable wretches. She accepts her fate and works hard, hoping to earn a reprieve. She is, ironically, put in charge of the nursery at the female factory where she is incarcerated and despite the heartache it involves, she tries not to stir up any trouble. She just wants to get her ticket of leave and go back to England.

But there is something bewitching about this new land, where everything is a difficult mystery. She has seen others out there, beyond the walls. Someone, something is calling her to meet it out there in the wilderness. The longer she stays, the louder it calls.

What will become of Sarah Grace?

Let’s find out, shall we?