Interview with Rosanne Hawke:

Rosanne Hawke is a children’s author, teacher and fourth-generation Cornish descendant living near Kapunda. She fell in love with Kapunda after doing research on the Hawke family tree. When she discovered her husband’s Hawke ancestors lived in Kapunda in the 1840s she came to visit. That was it, she says. The first time we stayed at Anlaby, after that we kept coming to Kapunda for weekend drives. It wasn’t long before they were looking at houses to “retire in”. When they walked through the Congregational Manse when it was for sale Rosanne was inspired to use it as a setting for a book she wanted to write called Zenna Dare.

They couldn’t wait for retirement and bought a place in Allendale North, an old Cornish farmhouse that has also helped inspire books including The Messenger Bird. Rosanne says, “As soon as I saw the cedar steps stretching down into the bowels of the house I knew I had a setting for my next book.” While her husband Gary was restoring the house, Rosanne wrote the novel.

Rosanne loves all things Cornish and celebrates her own Cornishness as well as Kapunda’s. She is a bard of Cornwall and takes part in the bardic ceremonies during the Kernewek Lowender (Cornish Festival) on Yorke Peninsula. She also takes part in the Uniting Church, the modern descendant of the Methodist Church birthed in Cornwall.

Another book set in Kapunda is Across the Creek. “I was walking around the mine one day and as I stared at that beautiful green lake I got the idea for a story where a boy called Aidan would go down a mineshaft and find a different world, a Cornish land peopled with creatures from Cornish folklore. Of course there is a quest and plenty of danger,” she says.

Rosanne also writes stories set in Pakistan as she and her husband were aid workers there and in the UAE with a Christian agency for ten years. “Pakistan never left me,” Rosanne says. “Our kids grew up there in the foothills of the Himalayas. We have such wonderful memories of places and people.” Many books have been published showing Rosanne’s love for Pakistan including the Beyond Borders series, Jehan and the Quest of the Lost Dog and The Tales of Jahani.

Although born in South Australia, Rosanne was a displaced child like her own children as she was raised in Outback Central QLD. She loves Outback Australia and tries to visit northern SA often. Her latest book Finding Kerra is set in SA’s Far North and is a family thriller for teens. “What better place,” Rosanne says, “than our Outback to put a character who needs to fall in love with Australia so she can settle here after being raised overseas.”

Rosanne can’t see herself moving from the Kapunda area. “We have such a well-kept secret here,” she says. “Kapunda would make a great holiday destination for people who love history, art, old world charm, and an unspoiled landscape.”