The Wild Australia Stories – Book 6
You’ll never see a wasp in the same way again …
When Beth’s marriage ends, she’s determined to build a new life in the country for herself and her children. A quiet life lived closer to nature. She thinks she’s achieved the impossible – a civilised separation, a happy home and a cordial relationship with her estranged husband, Mark. There’s even the promise of a new love. But when Mark tries to change the rules, Beth’s peaceful world is turned upside down.
Disturbingly, she also discovers that European wasps have invaded her garden. Beth’s obsession with them and their queen holds up a distorted mirror to the human drama. As the chaos in Beth’s life gathers momentum, connections between the two worlds come sharply into focus. The lives of Beth and the others are neither separate to, nor safe from, the natural world.
In my Wild Australia Stories I write about regional Australia. I’ve set novels in the Victorian high country, on the Great Eastern Escarpment, the Darling Downs, the Barrier Reef – the list goes on. But there is more to wild Australia than brumbies, dingoes, dolphins and the magnificent outback. As a passionate conservationist and naturalist, I’m interested in all aspects of nature. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s not always about the big things. Little creatures have a surprising impact on our lives. Wasp Season explores this theme. If you’re squeamish about insects, look away now. If you’re fascinated by the Australian bush and the way all creatures great and small are connected, then this story is for you.
Let's talk about it
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I used to work as a prosecution lawyer for the National Crimes Commission.
Why did you choose these themes in your book and were you aware of them from the outset?
My books always explore themes of our interconnectedness with the natural world, and Wasp Season is no exception. Fortunately, I never outgrew that original wonder with nature that all children have. In a sense nature was my first love, and the passion has never waned. My father had a lot to do with it. He was a jackaroo in Queensland, then a drover and later on became a respected horticulturist specialising in native plants. I inherited his deep connection with the land. The rural genre allows me to express my passion for the plants, animals and birds of the bush.
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
Wasp Season was perhaps my most difficult book to write yet. It includes the point of view of a European wasp queen! I had to really stretch my imagination.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
I always write in the rural genre, however I do like to switch between historical and contemporary novels
If you worked with a professional editor, what was the experience like?
I have a love/hate relationship with editors, although I mostly love them. I sometimes resist their suggestions, but nearly always accept them in the end. It is a privilege to work with an experienced editor and their advice invariably makes the book stronger.
What’s next for your writing?
I’m currently writing a sequel to my novel Brumby’s Run. Then I plan to write a historical saga set on Tasmania’s west-coast.
Popular Aussie author Jennifer Scoullar writes page-turning fiction about the land, people and wildlife that she loves.
Scoullar is a lapsed lawyer who harbours a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world. She lives on a farm in the southern Victorian ranges and has ridden and bred Australian Stock horses all her life. Her passion for animals and the bush inspires her bestselling books. Wasp Season is book 6 in her standalone Wild Australia series.