A Kingston story

FORMER Coastal Leader journalist Carla Caruso will write her next book based in a town that kick-started her career.

Even with the recent launch of Carla's new book Cityglitter, she is already thinking about her next storyline.

Carla came to Kingston fresh out of university during 2002 when she landed the role as the Coastal Leader's sole journalist.

"I remember being in my last weeks of my journalism degree at UniSA at the former Magill campus, panicking about finding a media job," she said.

"Then a newspaper ad looking for a journo at the Coastal Leader turned up and, within weeks, I was being driven down there from Adelaide by former editor Richard Peake."

Carla worked at the Coastal Leader for a year-and-a-half before returning to Adelaide.

"Working in Kingston was one of the best times of my life, but also hard in some ways being a city slicker away from my family and friends," she said.

Working at Rehame for a few months on returning to the city, Carla landed a job at the Advertiser where she worked as a general news journalist, fashion editor and Adelaide Confidential columnist.

After the Advertiser she went on to work as a media advisor for a State Government department before moving to Sydney with husband James Elsby - a former Advertiser photographer - to work as a senior writer and stylist at NINE to FIVE Magazine.

"I've since been a freelance journalist for about three years," she said. "I have written for everything from Woman's Day to Jewellery Magazine, including reporting on an international jewellery fair in Italy, VicenzaOro. It's been a fun ride."

With rural romances by Australian writers listed among today's popular reads, Carla said she wanted to pen a book based in Kingston SE which tied in a romantic plot.

The book will include aspects of the cray-fishing industry and marine parks issues.

"(While) I worked as a newspaper reporter in Kingston at the Coastal Leader many moons ago, I'm thinking of doing it from the perspective of a Sydney girl sent there to set up a luxury lifestyle magazine," Carla said.

"A real city slicker trying to get the hang of country life - not very successfully. I don't want it to be totally about myself, just inspired by some of the great, unique experiences I had there and the characters I met.

"I want to have a ghost in the mix in the story too and a hunky, mysterious hero, of course."

Among her fondest memories of Kingston are the coastal scenery, local events and town features.

"I remember the Royal Mail Hotel and how they used to ring the bell when the under-agers had to leave and the courtesy bus," she said.

"The mysterious newspaper football columnist, how mad-keen everyone was about the local netball and football, four-wheel driving in the sand dunes around Robe.

"The Salt Lake racing at the Coorong, the great seafood and wine, the tonnes of seaweed near the jetty, the holiday hordes in Kingston and Robe over the summer.

"Kingston's main street and its awesome bakery, roast dinners at the Crown Inn, doing a story on mulesing for the first time, The Vine gossip column, the great Leader team, and loads more.

"There was so much to learn but I'm so appreciative I got to see how the other half of Australia lives out in the country. I wouldn't swap the experience for anything."

� Read more about Carla's current book, Cityglitter, on page 2.

Pictured on assignment at a jewellery fair in Italy, Carla Caruso was a journalist at the Coastal Leader for over a year and will write her next book with a tie to Kingston.

Pictured on assignment at a jewellery fair in Italy, Carla Caruso was a journalist at the Coastal Leader for over a year and will write her next book with a tie to Kingston.