AUTHOR Jenn J. McLeod came to Tamworth recently for a talk on her new book, inspired by a Tamworth family, and said she may never leave.
Ms McLeod said the talk on Saturday, July 23, at Tamworth City Library was filled with a "great crowd and great questions".
"I would love to stay here forever," she said.
Known as the 'gypsy writer', the author lives and travels in a caravan, picking up inspiration for characters and stories wherever she can.
Ms McLeod said she also enjoyed dropping into the libraries and bookshops of small towns.
"I get to talk about books and reading to book lovers (at author talks)," she said.
The writer said most people wanted to know whether she got the inspiration for her characters and stories from.
"What makes a good story a good story is the content in it," she said.
"My characters are growing older with me. Some people at the library were shocked that my agent thinks that 50 is old, but I'm standing my ground."
Ms McLeod writes family-based stories aimed at a broad readership.
"They are mostly based on family relationships set in a small town and small community environment," she said.
Her latest, The Other Side of the Season, is based on the story of the brothers on the Hannaford banana plantation in Coffs Harbour.
"It was nice to have the Tamworth connection with the Hannafords," she said.
"Someone in the audience was able to give me more on the Tamworth connections."
Ms McLeod said she also had plenty of loyal readers in Tamworth, so couldn't come near the city without stopping in.
She is on her way to Dubbo and then the Mudgee Reader's Festival.
The author was 50 when she got her first contract and said she wished she'd known how hard it was going to be.
"My advice would be to never give up," she said.
"Dream big, but understand that publishing is a very hard business and it is a lot of hard work with deadlines. If you're a writer and you want to write, there is nothing stopping you."
Ms McLeod encouraged all book lovers to read more Australian authors.
"We really need to buy Australian made," she said.
The Other Side of the Season is published through Simon & Schuster Australia.