Imagining the Past Podcast: Episode 7: Personal Histories: In Conversation with Nicole Alexander and Ella Carey

In this week’s episode of Imagining the Past, Irina Dunn speaks with Nicole Alexander and  Ella Carey about their writing journeys, the inspiration for their books, and why they draw upon family legend. Nicole Alexander writes sweeping epics evoking the grandeur of Australian landscapes, the hardships of rural life, and the turmoil of historic events. Ella Carey introduces her readers to the quiet interconnections through parallel narratives of women living in modern and past times. Both authors draw on the personal to weave tales into a wider historical context. 

Recorded live during the HNSA 2019 Conference, we hope you enjoy the episode. And be sure to subscribe to the HNSA’s Imagining the Past podcast to make sure you never miss another episode.

About Our Speakers


Nicole Alexander is the author of nine Australian historical novels; The Bark Cutters, A Changing Land, Absolution Creek, Sunset Ridge, The Great Plains, Wild Lands, River Run, An Uncommon Woman and Stone Country. Nicole’s novels, poetry, travel, creative writing and genealogy articles have been published internationally. Her novels reflect a sense of continuity and an inherent love for the land that is steeped in authenticity. Nicole has a Masters in Literature & Creative Writing.

Ella Carey is the internationally bestselling author of five novels published in the US. Her three French novels, Paris Time Capsule, The House by the Lake and From a Paris Balcony are set around the story of a woman who fled Paris in 1940 and have been published in over twelve countries, in ten languages. Paris Time Capsule has been adapted into a feature film screenplay. Ella’s books have been shortlisted for ARRA awards and her sixth novel, Beyond The Horizon releases in September 2019. Ella has degrees in music, English literature and history. She is a keen traveller and is hard at work on her seventh book.

Irina Dunn is a well-known manuscript assessor, editor and literary agent, and is the Director of the Australian Writers’ Network, which has 13,000 subscribers throughout Australia and abroad. She wrote The Writer’s Guide: a companion to writing for pleasure or publication (Allen & Unwin), which was shortlisted for the National Education Awards and was described by the Australian Book Review as ‘a godsend for writers’. She has an Honours Degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Sydney.

 Greg Johnston has edited and hosts the Imaging the Past podcasts sessions from the HNSA 2019 conference program. It is a treat for those who couldn’t attend our conference at Western Sydney University in October last year to hear some of the panel discussions such as this one. It’s also a chance for HNSA 2019 attendees to catch up on the sessions they missed because they couldn’t be in two rooms at once!

G.S. Johnston is the author of three historical novels – Sweet Bitter Cane (2019), The Cast of a Hand (2015), and The Skin of Water (2012), and a fourth novel set in contemporary Hong Kong, Consumption (2011). The novels are noted for their complex characters and well-researched settings. After completing a degree in pharmacy, a year in Italy re-ignited his passion for writing and he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Feeling the need for a broader canvas, he started writing short stories and novels. Originally from Hobart, Tasmania, Johnston currently lives in Canberra, Australia.

Subscribe to Imagining the Past to ensure you hear the next podcast in our HNSA 2019 Catch Up Season.

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