'In popular published accounts from settlement and into the early part of the twentieth century the North Queensland region was often portrayed as ‘wild’. This is a perception ripe for re-examination, particularly from the perspective of women of lower socio-economic standing, and something I am exploring through my own creative work. Writing historical fiction about my grandmother’s life in North Queensland in the first half of the twentieth century requires me to consider strategies to ethically re-imagine a peripheral history that is specific to regional geography, class, and gender. Such a task is complicated by the limited source material available about the lived experiences of poorer women living in North Queensland. The most fruitful sources are often first-hand accounts such as life writing, personal recollections, memoirs, letters, or journals. Along with oral histories, these artefacts make up the bulk of the primary archival material that forms the background and contextual groundwork for my historical fiction. These sources are highly individual accounts specific to the time, place and era in which they were written. Historical fiction relies on an ‘authenticity effect’ (Padmore 2017) to effectively build a past world, and this article explores some of the ways these primary sources can be utilised and integrated in historical fiction to effectively and ethically represent women living in the margins.'