Boss, published in 2018, is strongly based on the diaries of Minnie Hunter, whose father, James, was the original lessee of Kalangadoo station in the 1840s and 50s, part of which became the soldier settler block where I grew up. Minnie’s story is interwoven with other historical and fictional elements, including the story of the Leake brothers of Glencoe, and a more detailed description of the destruction of the way of life of the Boandik and Wiradjuri people, as a result of white settlement.
As indicated in the book, I am indebted to my old neighbour and friend, the late Lois Dean, who edited Minnie’s diaries and published them, along with her detailed research into the events and people chronicled in the diaries. In her later years, I enjoyed many long discussions with Lois about Minnie, her family and loved ones. Boss is dedicated to Lois with my thanks.
Some testimonials for Boss:
‘The language and outlook places us in the 19thcentury but Bryant’s writing gives it a contemporary ease that glides us along more readily than books written in the period.’ …..Sally
‘My mum said it was the best book she had read in years and she reads probably 100 books a year.’….Karen
‘I took Boss with me when on a boat in the Kimberley recently and really enjoyed it.
Congratulations – especially as I don’t often read fiction!’ ………Bert
Taken In is a murder mystery novel, set in ‘marvellous Melbourne’ in the 1890s. It explores a range of disparate themes, including adoption and fostering issues in Australia at that time, girls’ education, women’s suffrage, Aussie rules football, and the early history of St Kilda.
Taken In was published in June 2019. Here’s what Suzanne Kiraly, writing in the RiotACT, had to say about Taken In:
‘Take a slice of Australian history, meaty characters – including a feisty young suffragette – mix with murder, romance and subterfuge, add a dash of precise, polished vocabulary and a cracking plot and you have a terrific read.’
CANBERRA BY NIGHT is a short story I wrote for a local Canberra competition. It takes a light-hearted look at a couple of peculiarly Canberran myths and obsessions. It received a Highly Commended rating, and will be included as part of an anthology of Canberra short stories, to be published in 2019.