All Quiet on the Western Plains is a historical, rural romance set in Outback Queensland in the year 1924, not long after the war to end all wars - the Great War - which shattered world peace from 1914 until 1918.
One war, two battle-scarred hearts, one chance for happiness.
English nurse, Fleur Armitage, wants to escape all reminders of the Great War, which killed family and friends; by living as far from its reminders as possible - in outback Queensland. Jack Edgarson is a pastoralist, war hero and damaged man. Suffering from nightmares and sleep walking, he lives in isolation, fearful he may harm someone. Through a chance meeting, their lives become entangled. They come to share their love of the wide western plains, but dare they love each other?
Your love of history has led you down many paths. What is your favourite time period?
My favourite time period is a bit hard to pin down. I’ve done a lot of reading about the Victorian period over the last 20 years, but I get a bee in my bonnet and I’m off into another historical era - the latest that I’m published in being post-World War One. So, to answer your question, I would probably say any time after the Tudor era, except contemporary.
The centenary of the start of the Great War is a momentous time in history. Do you think the world has learned from the tragedies of World War One, or does history keep repeating itself?
I think there were a lot of lessons learnt from the Great War. No-one in the western world has fought a whole war of attrition from dug-in positions since then. Instead, war has morphed into other lethal methods where you don’t have to run at your enemy and be mown down. Instead, we have perfected killing impersonally from great distances. However, for as long as human nature is unchanged, there are aspects of history that will be repeated such as jingoist nationalism, which threatens those who don’t belong to the group.
The characters in All Quiet on the Western Plains—Fleur and Jack—are they based on real people?
They are based on real people only as far as I read a great many biographies and autobiographies of men and women who served in World War One. Fleur and Jack are the composite characters, with plenty of imagined differences, which came out of that soup in my head.
Their story would resonate with many who had relatives affected in the Great War. Did you make contact with anyone in particular to get background for this novel?
Being the age that I am, I remember people who served in World War One although they are now long dead. My grandfather was a pioneer in the Royal Engineers in WWI, and my uncle Leo was an AIF motorcycle despatch rider who was mentioned-in-despatches during Germany’s Operation Michael in 1918. Research is really my biggest source of information. That I had relatives who served in World War One makes the period more personal.
An English nurse in outback Queensland. Why did Fleur choose such a remote and harsh environment in which to heal?
Fleur needed to leave Britain with all its reminders of the war and of her deceased family and fiancé. If you were sitting in post-WWI England, the outback of Australia would seem about as far away as it was possible to travel, and a completely different environment. She hoped that by being in such an alien environment that she would be able to start her life afresh with no reminders.
Can you share what you’re now working on?
Sure! I’m editing a novella that I’ve set during the English Civil Wars in the seventeenth century and a novel that is set in the Regency period. I hope I can finish the edits soon as I have another couple of stories outlined that I would really love to start writing.
Thanks so much for visiting here today, Isabella, and I wish you the very best of luck with this wonderful release.
This is what Isabella says about herself:
I’m an Australian author of historical romances, mainly set during the Regency period. I’ve read historical fact and fiction since I was a child growing up in Brisbane. That wasn’t enough, so I became a historian and now spend every work day researching and writing about people, places and events from the past. It seemed the perfect idea to combine my love of history and romance in writing historical romances. I write about strong, determined heroines and heroes that aren’t afraid to match them. Recently Steam eReads published my first historical novel, The Persuasion of MissJane Brody.
All Quiet on the Western Plains on Amazon
Also available on Steam eReads