If you get a chance, got to Book Marketing Network and read my article entitled "Create Entertaining and Memorable Characters." the URL of my blog page there is www.bookmarket.ning.com/profile/obxwriter; Any comments or questions will be answered.
Australia is a place I do want to visit. I am headed to Bergen, Norway, on a 16-day cruise in April. A co-worker in my younger days gave herself a trip to Australia when she was graduated from college, and our boss at the time, loved her trip when she went. I have visited parts of Europe and also Japan (twice).
Try Tim Maleeny's books, STEALING THE DRAGON and BEATING THE BABUSHKA. I enjoyed them both, and he is working on a third in the series.