Books of the Heart

- by Anna Jacobs

Every now and then, you write a book that you love just a tad more than your other books. We call them ‘books of the heart’. I’ve just had one published, ‘The Trader’s Dream’.

Why do I love it so much?

Because I waited ten years to write a story with this background. When I first read about the opening ceremony for the Suez Canal, in November 1869, I could see how good it would be in a story. But it didn’t fit my current series, and somehow the years passed without me writing a series into which it would fit.

Then I started writing ‘The Traders’ and I knew the time had come. I didn’t even intend to write this series, but a minor character in my Swan River Saga just would not go away. Bram lodged in my thoughts and I eventually realised I’d have to give him his own series.

This is like hitting gold for a writer, a character so vivid he leaps on to the page.

Fortunately I’d just been reading a dry as dust research book about merchant princes/traders in Western Australia. I knew suddenly that my Irish groom was going to set up as a trader when he reached Western Australia. Wonderful stuff to research, as it’s a part of Australian history that hasn’t been done to death in fiction.

You can read more about my research on my website

I also discovered that Singapore was an early trading partner with Western Australia, so of course I sent Bram there to set up trading links with the Orient. I was sure that would interest the readers, and it seems to have done. The rest is history, as they say.

My first book in the series ‘The Trader’s Wife’ was shortlisted for an award in Australia (didn’t win this time, but still felt good to be listed). But it’s the third book that I’ve been waiting for and that has just been published. My Suez Canal book, ‘The Trader’s Dream’.

I hope people will enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Oh, and the three-part series has now been extended to five books, because it’s selling nicely. I really did hit gold with Bram and his family/friends.





  1. I’m interested that the series has been extended from 3 to 5. Does this mean that you have 2 other characters sufficiently developed to write two more books in the same series? It must be a complex cast of people.

  2. I think it means readers are buying and my editor likes the series, so when I suggested two more books, she said yes immediately – but no more than 5.

    I’ve just finished writing Book 4 and had rave approval from my wise readers. This series seems to write itself. As I said, books of my heart.

    It’s not that I already had characters sufficiently developed – I created them. And yes, you’re right. It is a very complex cast and story line, with the trader himself in every book as a minor but significant character. Such a joy to write.