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This is Louise and myself at the Toronto Library for the History Illuminated literary festival on September 1. Held annually at Lake Macquarie, a 90 minute drive north of Sydney, History Illuminated is run by the enterprising Lake Macquarie City Council and the Hunter Writers Centre. For my session I spoke about ‘Heroes of Hamel,’ and was delighted to find in the audience the still sprightly widow of John Moloney, who fought alongside Victoria Cross winner Two Gun Harry Dalziel in the 15th Battalion during the July, 1918 Battle of Hamel. At the festival, too, we were able to catch up with crime writer Barry Maitland and his wife Margaret. We’d first met at Adelaide Writers Week last year. The Maitlands live in Maitland, NSW, as you would if a city carries your name. There’s no city of Dando-Collins. Yet. We also spent time chatting in the Green Room with Heather Morris, author of ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz.’ A first novel, sold into 32 countries, and soon to be a BBC TV mini-series. It’s an amazing true story. So too is the story of how Heather came to write the book. If you get a chance to see Heather talking at a literary event, don’t miss her.

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