Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

About

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Born in Essex to a Welsh mother and an English father Elizabeth Jane Corbett has spent all but nine years of her life living in Australia. Yet, for some reason, she’s never been sure quite where she belongs. This isn’t surprising. She has always been indecisive. Nevertheless, it does strike her as rather ungrateful. She should be able to put her hand to her heart and say: I’m Australian.

She can’t. And, as she has worked hard to eliminate ‘shoulds’ from her cognitions, this has lead to some tedious explanations.

In the end, she has settled for hanner Cymraes.

That’s right – half Welsh woman.

Elizabeth Jane has always been a bookish girl and ever since she got lost on a lonely moor with the Famous Five she has dreamed of writing a novel. Dreams are scary, however, and a lot less tangible than love and marriage. Elizabeth Jane studied history as an undergraduate, got married in her teens, fell pregnant within a heart beat of the ceremony (note the order) and spent the next ten years wiping noses and bottoms. Once her youngest child started school she trained as a librarian.

But the dream never faded.

It rolled down the years gathering momentum until, one day, Elizabeth Jane decided scary was a far worse prospect than not knowing.

It was time to give this writing thing a go.

Write what you know! That’s the first thing they tell novice writers. What? You’ve got to be joking? Noses and bottoms? As a history graduate and reader of historical fiction, Elizabeth Jane knew her stories must rise from the pages of history. She was right. The past is her true country. Whenever she sits down to write she lets the words carry her home.

In the present, Elizabeth Jane is married to Andrew. She lives (minus the four grown up children) in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s multicultural inner north. She is a reluctant gym member, loves red shoes, coffee, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, reading historical fiction, and walking her cute, badly behaved dog, Biskit. These days, despite early identity issues, she also calls herself a Melbourne girl.

8 Comments

  1. Terry Tyler

    Aha! Now I understand. I love reading historical fiction, too.

  2. Yes, it’s the best. What are your favourite authors?

  3. Terry Tyler

    Norah Lofts and Philippa Gregory, and I loved Susan Howatch’s Cashelmara, Penmarric, etc, though not her later books about the church. Currently reading Edward Rutherford’s ‘London’, which is a-maz-ing! You?

    • I loved London. I have Rutherfurd’s Paris in my TBR pile. He has one about the New Forest I’d love to read too. I love anything Welsh – Sharan K Penman, Edith Pargetter/Ellis Peters, Richard Llewellyn’s, How Green was my Valley. I also love Dorothy Dunnett, Diana Gabaldon, Kate Mosse and Kate Morton. I don’t mind literary historical fiction writers either, like Kate Grenville, Emma Donoghue, Hilary Mantel and Helen Dunmore either. I just read Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites, bleak but totally amazing. Too many books. Not enough hours. 🙂

  4. Terry Tyler

    I am so with you on that one! Thanks for those recommendations, too x

  5. james jeffery

    I just read your short story “Beyond the Blackout Curtain” I just wanted to tell you I loved it. i do not know if this is bullshit or not, but there is a theory about the music of the language of the Celts. I can hear it in your writing.

    • ejcorbett@yahoo.com.au

      Thanks for reading my story, for liking it and for taking the time to tell me so. It makes all the hours of writing and re-writing worthwhile. I’m not sure about specific theories of Celtic musicality but I agree with you. It is there, for certain. I’m glad you think my writing has got it too. 🙂

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