Tuesday 24 September 2013

ACRBA Tour of Streets on a Map by Dale Harcombe with interview.

23 - 27 September


(Ark House Press December 2010)


Dale Harcombe

About the Book
Every choice carries a price as Abby discovers when she marries Joel. If she had known when Joel first walked into Clancy’s what lay in store, she would have stopped the relationship before it got started. However, by the time she found out it was too late. The choice was made. Or so she thought.

But then between her and her one friend in Astley, Laila, they arrive at solution that could benefit Abby and the small county town. A deliberately lit fire and an unplanned pregnancy threaten to bring their carefully laid plans and Abby's dreams undone. Problems of some newcomers to the town impinge on Abby's life too, but it is the arrival of an old resident of Astley that could end up destroying everything and not just for Abby. 

Who else's lives will be affected and changed forever. Will the unwelcome arrivals in Astley destroy everything Abby and Laila have worked to achieve? What is the secret that will have all of Astley reeling?

About the Author
Streets on a Map, was published by Ark House Press. Prior to that Dale has had seven children’s books and Kaleidoscope a collection of poetry published. Many poems in Kaleidoscope have been previously published in Australia’s literary magazines. She has won prizes for her poetry and has been published in several anthologies. 
Along with her husband, Dale was for a time houseparent for a family of twelve boys. She has also been a manuscript assessor and book reviewer and run creative writing classes. She has also written bible studies and Sunday school lessons. For several years she wrote about Christian living, marriage and home related topics for She has a BA in Literary and Australian studies. More information about Dale can be found at or on her Write and Read with Dale blog


1.      Can you tell us something interesting readers may not know about you?
I spent a number of years as part of BSF ( Bible Study Fellowship) classes. BSF is an interdenominational bible study class that studies the bible in depth. It was the place where I started to grow as a Christian. During my time at BSF I came to understand the importance of studying the bible in a regular and systematic away. I was privileged to be part of the program as a children’s leader and later as a discussion leader. Plus my children both loved the children’s program. I would be rapt to see a BSF class start up near where I live.

2.      Where did you get the inspiration for your novel Streets on a Map? 
The image of Abby came from a woman I saw years ago, who sat down next to the pianist at Centrepoint Tavern in Sydney and started to sing. She became the basis for the character of Abby and I played with ideas of what if she moved from the city to the country. What would cause her to move? How would she fit in with the locals? How would she feel if she had to give up her career? While I lived in Sydney for much of my life, the background of small country towns comes from having lived in and travelled around to many of them when I lived in the Central West of NSW. 

3.       In your research did you find any interesting titbits that surprised you?
As I wrote about  Abby I found it surprising when her dislike of bonsai suddenly popped up. Yet in so many ways it reflects exactly how she was feeling at the time, stunted and not able to grow naturally to be the person she was meant to be. Another piece of research resulted from the responses of people who have disabled children. Their attitudes came from reading a lot about such cases and how people handled it plus someone I met briefly many years ago.

4.      What would you like readers to take out of reading your novel?
One, is how the choices we make in life affect not just us but can often have far reaching consequences for others around us as well. And I’d like people to think about who or what inform their choices in life and where they stand with God.

5.       A fun question to end, if you were to recommend somewhere in Australia or New Zealand for readers to visit where would it be?
It would have to be The South Coast of NSW which is where I live. With clear turquoise waters and white sand fringed with dark green trees, it is one of the most beautiful spots and popular holiday destination for many people from Sydney and Canberra. For a city location I also still think it’s hard to go past Sydney Harbour.

6.      Where can we find you on the web?
Readers can find me at my website
            Write and Read with Dale blog  at


  1. Dale and Jenny, great interview! Dale, it's fascinating to hear how your story idea evolved. Thanks for sharing. And I totally agree - the NSW South Coast is gorgeous. Beautiful, pristine beaches that aren't crowded. A great summer holiday destination for Canberrans :)

  2. Thanks Jenny for interviewing me and for questions that made me think. Thanks Narelle for commenting. Yes, we get a lot of people from Canberra holiday down our way.

  3. Sounds like somewhere I would like to visit! Thanks Dale - this book is on my TBR pile now ;)

  4. Love to catch up if you ever visit Catherine.

    1. Definitely! And chat over a cuppa about our favorite books ;)

  5. I love the way you described how you were inspired to write about your main character Abby, Dale--I could see even that event clearly in my mind as a result. And yes, the South Coast of NSW sure is a beautiful place! We are blessed.

  6. Thanks Dale and Jenny for the interview. It's always fun to get to know a little more about Aussie authors. Even though I've had a lovely face to face meeting with Dale, these interviews help me to feel more connected with our community of authors.

  7. Thanks Carol and Jo-Anne for your comments. It is lovely when we can get to know each other more.


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