The story behind these rocks

I took the UK hardback edition of my new thriller #TheBay for a photoshoot!

Funny story about the rocks in the photo. It’s a famous surf spot here on the Gold Coast: Burleigh Point. When the waves are big, you have to jump off the rocks with your surfboard to get out because the currents are too strong to paddle from the beach.

Twenty years ago I’d only been surfing for six months. I’d just met my future husband (now my ex-husband because we divorced) and he invited me for a surf at Burleigh for our second date.

He clearly overestimated my surfing ability.
“Follow me!” he said and jumped off the rocks.
Keen to impress, I gamely followed him and jumped, but I timed it wrong. The waves had a bit of size that day and a larger wave rushed in and swept me back over the rocks. The barnacles shredded my feet and legs. I dragged myself back over the rocks into the ocean where I sat on my surfboard, cuts stinging, then realised I was bleeding in about ten places. Thinking how sharks can smell one drop of blood in a thousand Olympic swimming pools, I reluctantly said goodbye to my date and paddled in to the beach, then walked through the town of Burleigh leaving a trail of blood behind me.😂😂


I have a bad record with rocks. Another time, I jumped off rocks onto my board and landed on it badly, breaking several ribs. I’ve also busted fins. I never manage to time it right. These days I mostly stick to beach breaks.

#TheBay is out now in Australia and out on 23 June in the UK. It comes out on 19 July in North America, with its American title: #TheSwell.

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