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Headshot Patricia Ford

Patricia Ford

Patricia Ford, OAM, a former University of Queensland Chemistry lecturer and Miles High School Mathematics and Science teacher, originally compiled notes (which became Sketchy English Grammar) to set out the fundamentals of correct English usage in speech and writing.

‘Having been told politely but firmly by some of my children that I should stop teaching things to my grandchildren, and just enjoy playing with them, I decided a more subtle approach might be appropriate.  To impart some basic rules about pronouns, I wrote a poem, We Met a Hippopotamus.  It went down quite well and indeed, several friends (mostly grandparents) asked for copies.’

We Met a Hippopotamus.

We met a Hippopotamus, MY Sister Sue and I,                                                                              

HE gave some crunchy chocolate to Sister Sue and ME;                                                                

As SHE and I went strolling on an elephant came by                                                              

WHO said HE was having a party, and invited HER and ME. 

It seemed a proper and light-hearted overture to this book.

I have been writing for as long as I can remember, starting with letters to our children at boarding school, then Christmas newsletters and monthly newsletters to all the family.  I also wrote illustrated accounts of our journeys overseas for them as well.  Three years ago, I decided to compile all the stages of in the development of grammar and then drew the sketches for thisbook.

I was inspired to write this because of the necessity of creating a definitive grammar book for trainee teachers was the main motivation.

My writing process is very simple.  I write the text using the Word program, leaving spaces for the drawings.  Then I print the page, do the drawings in the spaces, and then copy it!

My book is about the fundamentals of Grammar.  The rules are more important than ever.  English has changed remarkably since the time of Shakespeare, because it is a living, evolving language.  But it is also the most expressive and precise language, and it retains rules to enable us to express ourselves clearly and to be understood accurately in business, law, diplomacy, and the simple sharing of thoughts, emotions and ideas.

At the moment, I am reading my favourite book, All Passions Spent by Vita Sackville-West and The History of Herodotus and Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn.

My favourite authors are Jane Austin, John Golesworthy and Denderfield – because I find their characters fascinating and can often identify with the situations.  Each book they produce is a great read.

An example of what I believe is a perfect book is All Passions Spent because its personifications are excellent and its composition balanced.  Its language is expressive but spare.

When I am not writing, I play the piano.  My favourite music is J S Bach’s Preludes and Feuds.


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Robert Boyle

I am a retired Australian Government public servant with a keen interest in history and military strategy. Over the years, I have lived in Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin and Paris, France (where I did a lot of European history research).

Urgus the Scribe is my first published novel, although I have a longish (75 minute) play and another Urgus story in my top drawer. I live in Salisbury, Brisbane, with my wife and daughter, who are also published authors. They write appalling horror and mystery stories which make people wonder about their home lives, while I stick to historical fantasy.

Aside from writing, my main interest is in music. I play trumpet in the Brisbane Concert Orchestra, the Indooroopilly Chamber Orchestra, the Kate Street Mob Jazz Band and various musical theatre productions.

How long have you been writing?

About thirty years, with big gaps.  

What has inspired your writing?

A need to do something else, aside from the day to day round.

Tell us about your writing process:

It’s a pretty well-structured affair, once I get going. I try to set aside the same time for writing each day and would rarely work for more than two hours at a stretch.

The bare bones of the story are sketched out in point form which are massaged into the main scenes and chapter headings. Then, in scene sequence, usually, or though sometimes I jump ahead, I handwrite the first draft. When ahead by two or three chapters the earlier ones are typed into MS Word, incorporating many changes as I go. This inevitably includes re-ordering the sequence of events as the thing unfolds and produces a second draft of the previous chapters.

The typed chapters are printed out and changes made by hand when in that sort of editing frame of mind. The changes are typed in and another written edition produced for another rereading. This process is repeated until the final draft. I enjoy this part of the job, seeing the thing slowly improve. It’s that first draft that strains the old brain.

What are your books about?

I’m a big reader of history. I got the idea for ‘Urgus the Scribe’ from the 1970s TV series and book ‘Civilisation’ by Kenneth Clarke. One of his main themes is the essential fragility of civilisation. He describes how western civilisation survived ‘by the skin of our teeth’ after the collapse of Rome, literally clinging on in such unlikely places as the islands off the Irish coast. This really appealed to me. Then I thought about the related idea of who recognises and decides what is worth saving. In my book, I have civilisation saved by such unlikely characters as the despised tax gatherers of ‘the City’.  

What are you reading?

“Count Belisarius” by Robert Graves; “The Great Ships” by Peter C. Smith; “The Old Devils” by Kingsley Amis.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

My favourite novelists include Leo Tolstoy, W. Somerset Maugham and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I also love the wonderfully imaginative world of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast Trilogy. For humour I’m a devotee of P.G. Wodehouse. I read a lot of history about Europe and the Middle East. I’m also big on biographies, mainly political and military figures, but the odd musician and actor sneak in.


What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Fascinating characters in a taut, lyrically written story set in an era that became identified with the author.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I’m a trumpet player.  There’s lots of things I should be doing and I’m sure the neighbours would prefer I was doing, but…I’m a trumpet player.


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Graham Paterson

Tell us about you, the writer

I am a retired Mine Manager who has been involved in Constitutional issues when living in Indonesia from 1969 to 72. During my career I have worked in PNG, Malaya, Indonesia, Fiji and in every State of Australia. I took up teaching English as a foreign language after my retirement and have since completed assignments in China, Fiji, Indonesia and PNG. My biography is included in the 1980-81, 6th Edition of the International Register of Profiles and the 1982 edition of Who’s Who in the Commonwealth.

How long have you been writing? My first book was published in 2006 by Foreign Languages Press in Beijing, China. I have since had 4 other books published by them all related to English as a foreign language.

What has inspired your writing? From my introduction to the Indonesian Constitution, which was used in negotiations, taught in schools and sold as a booklet all over Indonesia, I became curious about our Australian Constitution. When I did obtain a copy in 1973, I was appalled at the document and clearly understood why our Constitution is never taught in Australian Schools. It doesn’t describe how we are governed and doesn’t even include a Prime Minister anywhere in the document.

Tell us about your writing process: As I started to research the history of the document I became more involved to the extent of giving speeches on the subject and writing various submissions to the point of being publically interviewed by the Queensland Constitutional Review Committee. As a result, I have been developing this book over the last 28 years until it has now coalesced into a printed version. Hopefully, it might generate a positive dialogue on the need to make Australia a sovereign and independent nation with their own truly Australian “people’s” Constitution.

What are your books about? The book deals with the Australian Constitution from a citizen’s point of view on the basis that the Constitution is the most important document in everyone’s life. It is the vehicle which allows the Government to make all the laws that control our society. As such, it needs to be understood by ordinary people. The Australian Constitution is still one part of a nine part Act of the British Parliament and that makes a mockery of anyone trying to claim that Australia is a sovereign independent nation.
My book looks at the history of the Constitution and the ongoing farcical legal and political attempts to make Australia look independent while still retaining this Act of the British Parliament as our Constitution.

What are you reading? Currently, I am re-reading the 5 volume autobiography and history of China by Han Suyin.

Who are your favourite authors and why? My favourite author is Alan Eckart who condensed thousands of pages of research by Hugh A. Brown into a magnificent novel entitled, “The HAB Theory”.  My other favourite author is Richard Bach for his books, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and “Illusions”.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why? I think Han Suyin’s first book of her autobiography, “The Crippled Tree” would rank as near perfect in my opinion. She uses some of the most exquisite English I have ever read and she has woven China’s history of the past 150 years around the story of her life and her immediate ancestors. Apart from that she was intimately involved with the Chinese revolution in a totally unique way, which no other writer would have ever experienced.

What do you do when you are not writing? Play golf and maintain ongoing communication with current and ex-students, plus teachers, in China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, NZ, Canada, the USA and Mongolia. I am also involved with groups in the UK, Australia and the USA dealing with banking reform and financial issues related to monetary sovereign nations, such as Australia.

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Terry signing

Terry Spring

Tell us about you, the writer

Started writing in music newspapers in London in the 60s, then migrated to Australia. Carried on writing as a Sydney corporate trainer – training scenes and films. Since retirement I have written three books and ghost-written three. My passion is history and I love the research needed to write about times past.

How long have you been writing? Too many years to tell. I attended a creative course at Oxford University in England but it was so long ago, I can’t remember the date!

What has inspired your writing?  Other people’s books where the reader is taken away to another plateau.

Tell us about your writing process: I come up with an idea, write characters around it and formulate a plot but if I’m writing about a real person I research the time in which they lived to find what they ate, they wore, their gossip, what was impacting on their times – like war or pandemics.

What are your books about? Mostly about people who have lived in the past…knowing what happened to them it’s not difficult to write how they would have felt.

What are you reading? Phillip Adams -Bedside Stories

Who are your favourite authors and why?Phillipa Gregory because she writes about my favourite, Tudor history, so well and Jeffrey Archer because he’s such a rogue and a good story-teller. I also like Biographies too – especially tell-alls so that I find the REAL story (oh yeah?) 

What is your idea of the perfect book and why? Any book that tells a good story and keeps me enthralled.

What do you do when you are not writing? Trying to avoid anything that causes me to have a Doctor’s appointment.

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Maureen Jefferies Photo

Maureen Jefferies

I have been writing since a young schoolgirl and continued through creative writing; journalism – local paper; advertising screed and publicity.    When my family was grown I joined Creative Writing groups and other writing organisations and am a member of the QWC.

The need to write.  I love words and short stories were my forte but having finished two novels now, I find them more of a challenge.

Not very logical.   I have an idea, pursue it but in a bit of a higgledy-piggledy fashion until I bring it all together.    I find research takes a great deal of the time but it is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing.

They are fiction.   I try to write about people coping with the obstacles in their lives.   I suppose you could say they are sagas.   I do have a focus on females but this is because I need to get inside my characters and, well, not easy with males if you are a female!!

I am reading four books at the moment.   I belong to a Book Club and we have a new book every month.   I have quite catholic tastes and am often surprised at the books I really enjoy.   At this precise moment I am reading: Digging to America; The Kitchen House; Roddy Parr and Eugenia.

I don’t have a favourite author but I do enjoy: Alexander McCall Smith; Roddy Doyle; Alex Miller; Barbara Kingsolver come to mind.    They each have their own style; their themes are interesting and they write so well.

I don’t think I have an idea of the perfect book.   Good story; thought provoking or entertaining; well written and when finished you feel a sense of pleasure.   There are so many excellent authors whose writings are diverse it is hard to say what the ‘perfect book’ should be.   I think you should feel the book is written from the heart and not to order for a publisher.

I live on acreage which is mostly ‘Land for Wildlife’.  When I am not writing I tend to my over large garden; I make jewellery; paint; leadlight (but not so much now) – as you can see I’m a dabbler! Of course, I attend my Writing and Book Club classes.

I spend as little time on the internet as possible but I do have a Twitter and Facebook address (I think!)

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Profile photo of Gabrielle Monego

Gabrielle Monego

I am a (cattle) grazier, living in Outback Australia with my husband and children. Between teaching school, working on the land and taking care of my family I write fantasy fiction. I have published my first novel Australian Magic, with a sequel soon to be released and a third book already in the works.  Born in The Netherlands I’m widely travelled and I’ve enjoyed adventures in many countries as well as my journey through the beautiful and diverse Australia, which is now my home.

How long have you been writing? 

I’ve been writing and telling stories all my life but Australian Magic is my first book shared with the ‘general public’

What has inspired your writing? 

Everything and anything. My imagination is rather vivid

Tell us about your writing process:

I don’t really have a process, I sit down when I have a free moment and just let my writing happen.

What are your books about?

This series is about the Australian Mediator. It’s fantasy fiction

What are you reading?

The Perfect Catch

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Matthew Reilly, Kelly Armstrong, Douglas Adams and loads more

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

There are loads of reasons why a book is perfect. A book that you can’t put down even if your eyes hurt, it’s way past your bedtime and you know you should really sleep before another busy day starts. A book that you can’t stop thinking about even after you finish it. A book that makes you laugh, cry or entices any other strong emotions. A book that makes you think, ‘just one more page’. 

What do you do when you are not writing?

Play with my kids and things that need to be done.

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Dion Warren Headshot

Dion Warren

How long have you been writing? I have been writing for 2 years.

What has inspired your writing? I loved being able to make characters and have fun by using my imagination to make readers happy, emotional and shocked.  

Tell us about your writing process: First I write the first page of a new book, which is the introductory/blurb,  I write down the main characters, characterise them, and then I start writing.

What are your books about? They vary about a lot of things, mainly fantasy, action and as well as short stories of games/fandoms.

What are you reading? I am currently reading walking dead graphic novels. I lately read Divergent and The Book Thief.

Who are your favourite authors and why? Derek Landy, James Patterson, Suzanne Collins and Pittacus Lore, author of ‘I am number four’ and more of the Lorien Legacies. They are the authors I love and read regularly. They inspired me to write my own stories, they are what I want to be when I am older. They use humour, action and twists to make the perfect novels for young adults.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why? My idea of a perfect book is a book with a twist, or something original. You don’t want readers reading your books and thinking this is similar to something they have read before, every book must have a good original story and a cliff hanging ending. Killing of characters creates a great effect. (Evil laugh)

What do you do when you are not writing? Game. I love gaming, whenever I am not gaming or writing I am either fangirling over other books and movies. I started gaming when I was 3. I love it.

My blog: shapeshiftingandmysticalmagic101.  My google + is Dion Warren it is connected to my blog.

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Jerry Richert Headshot

Jerry Richert

My first bleary-eyed glimpse of the world took place in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. It must have been a reasonably pleasant experience, for since then my view of the world has changed little. I still tend to see it as a place where reality and fantasy mingle and blur together in a rosy hue.
The family moved to Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, when I was two. It was the best place on earth for a boy to grow up. Most of my early years were spent on a farm, and most every boy that grew up on a farm in Africa had as his first friends the sons of the farm labourers. I was no exception. Together we roamed free, hunting with catapults bows and arrows and terrorising everything that moved. We were seldom home before dark. I had a horse and shared my bed with my two large dogs. I was given my first .22 rifle on my tenth birthday. Then came the shock of boarding school in Bulawayo, a name that means place of slaughter.
The view I had of boarding school was anything but rose-coloured. My rifle was confiscated on the first day and I was caned on the second. Hunting was not on the curriculum. Prefects were allowed to cane, which they did with abandon, using lengths of bunsen-burner tubing. At school I was a dismal failure. My talents leaned more towards dreaming than academia, and the books I learned the most from were written by Zane Grey and Capt.W.E. Johns. These were usually read in one of the toilets by the light of a candle. Read more…
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EJ Gore

Tell us about you, the writer

I was born and raised in Brisbane where I still live with my husband and our two dogs. I grew up with a love of reading thanks to my mother who introduced me to that wonderful place – the library. That’s where my vivid imagination flourished and my delight in storytelling was born.

During my thirty years as a primary school teacher, I used storytelling and drama as the base for my classroom practice creating stories and plays through which my students were encouraged to develop deeper understanding and knowledge of curriculum concepts.

Now retired from fulltime teaching, I have the time for two of my greatest pleasures – writing and travelling.

How long have you been writing?

I have always written stories but, in terms of a serious focus on writing a complete novel – albeit a short one – I have been writing since 2012.

What has inspired your writing?

I wanted to write short novels for those young readers who are just getting into chapter books or those who are reluctant readers. I had become used to seeing children frustrated by the length of the non-picture books that they were expected to read when they reached the middle primary years. I wanted to write books that featured real kids dealing with situations that could actually happen, no fantastic super powers or magic, just quick wits and good problem solving skills. I wanted the young readers to be able to imagine themselves in the story. Children are wise little beings who delight in solving mysteries. Adults often underestimate their wisdom.

Tell us about your writing process:

I usually start with a scene or just the germ of an idea e.g. one of my friends sent me a picture the other day of a carpet snake that had slithered down out of the roof of her house. That was enough to set my thought processes racing. So the next Taya Bayliss story will feature a snake.

From the initial idea, I am a planner. I write a rough, and I do mean rough, outline. After that the story unfolds itself as I type it up.

What are your books about?

My books are about an ordinary little girl, Taya. She is an only child and her family travels around quite a bit because her father is a research scientist. Taya has sharp observation skills and a great eye for detail. She is inquisitive and she likes to sort out situations and things that she considers to be out of the ordinary. When her natural curiosity pushes her into adventures, she has only her own quick wits to help her solve the problems that crop up.

What are you reading?

I have just finished the latest Phryne Fisher book from Kerry Greenwood and have now pulled ‘The Mysterious Affair at Stiles’ by Agatha Christie from my bookshelf for another reading.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I like a good murder from Agatha Christie, a thriller from Mary Higgins Clark, the tantalising heroines of Kerry Greenwood, and the historical romances of Victoria Holt.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

A perfect book is one that doesn’t let you put it down, no matter how late it is or how early you have to get up the next day. It is one in which you can easily see yourself as one of the characters and it is one that you want to read again – and again.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Does blogging count as writing? I spend quite a lot of time on the computer promoting my books. I tutor children. I walk with my dogs and I go on fabulous trips with my lovely husband.


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Ivy D’Souza

Ivy D’Souza is a member of the Clayton Clarinda Writers Circle as well as Caulfield Writers, and ‘The Expats’ is her first novel. Ivy has received a grant from City of Monash in 2012 to write and publish this book.

She has also written a number of short stories, some of which have been published in anthologies. Her interest in writing came about because of her love of reading from a very early age. She is passionate about the written word in all its forms, although she mainly writes fiction. She hopes to write many more novels in the future.

Tell us about you, the writer

I have been a voracious reader since the age of 5, and from this stemmed my desire to write a book. In school and college I wrote essays and short stories, and through the years sent letters to family and friends living overseas.

Because I had to work to earn a living, it was only in 2007 that I had a chance to seriously pursue writing as the main interest in my life.

How long have you been writing?

All my life since I could write, I suppose. Initially essays in school, but in 2007 I had the opportunity to attend writers’ workshops in a community centre and that gave me the platform from where I published some short stories. Then in 2009 I started writing my novel, which I published at the end of 2012 in between looking after my elderly parents; sadly my Dad passed away in 2013.

What has inspired your writing process:

When I started attending writing workshops at the Godfrey Street community house, our facilitator motivated and inspired us to write and not to be put off by rejection slips, which almost every writer has dealt with. That year the writers launched their book ‘Godfrey Street – Memories and Dreams’ and although I was too new to contribute, it was the first time I was involved with something like this. I attended the book launch and it created a great impression in my mind. I felt that I too could be part of the writing process like the others. Perhaps I too could launch my own book in time to come (and I did).

What is your book about:

I lived in Bahrain for more than a decade, and my book is about a young Indian woman who lives and works there, adapting to a different culture, an arranged marriage, and a job where the power of the employer is supreme and she can be dismissed on a whim. But she needs to work and earn money, so she can eventually settle in a western country and have a better future.

What are you reading?

At the moment I am reading ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck. I meant to read it a long long time ago, but I am doing so now.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Charles Dickens, Emily Bronte and Jane Austen are some of my favourite authors. Their novels inspire me and make me want to be a better writer all the time.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

I don’t think there is such a thing as the perfect book, we all strive for perfection, but that is an elusive thing. But we can always make our next book better than the one which went before, and learn from mistakes.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Socialise with family and friends, do painting, and make greeting cards.

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John Cosgrove Headshot

John Cosgrove

Tell us about you, the writer:

When young, I lived on a grain farm on Queensland’s Darling Downs. One hundred kilometres from my home was a district with dairy farms as its main industry. Many relations lived there.  That was where many of my stories were based.  Land was opened for grain farming on Queensland’s Central Highlands. My father drew a block of country.  The new settlers pioneered grain growing in that area.  Playing in an orchestra – more ideas came for stories.

Moving to Toowoomba I searched for land to develop meeting many characters who lived on the city’s outskirts.  More food for stories came.  I play saxophone and do vocals in Toowoomba.  My son is in Real Estate and I have a licence helping him on a casual basis.  I am developing a five acre block on the city’s outskirts.

Life goes on and I still like observing life and remembering back to happenings and ways of the old days.

How long have you been writing:      About 15 years

What has inspired your writing process:       My father wrote poetry and told stories.  When he died I started writing and I like to write of life the way I see it.

Tell us about your writing process:    I wrote poetry first then started on short stories later.  I hope my stories cover incidents in the reader’s lives.

What are your books about?   Everyday life – funny and sad events that have happened – some are fiction – some are very true.

What are you reading?    I have not done a great amount of reading in the last few years but enjoy many authors.

Who are your favourite authors and why?   John Steinbeck – for his descriptive writing and many others.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?  I like short stories and books that don not have endless detail.

What do you do when you are not writing?  I was a farmer and cattleman.  Developing a town block at the moment. I have a Real Estate Licence and help my son in Ray White.


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Pauline Saull Headshot

Pauline Saull

How long have you been writing? Six years

What has inspired your writing?  Put simply, a love of words.

Tell us about your writing process: I write every day for a few hours.

What are your books about? The short stories are varied, the novellas are light romance, the two U S A  e-books are Erotic Romance.

What are you reading? Joy Fielding, Phillip Roth.

Who are your favourite authors and why? Deborah Moggach, Marge Piercy, Anita Shreve. All different styles.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why? Good characters and dialogue are a must to keep me interested. Too much ‘filling in’ and I start flicking pages.

 What do you do when you are not writing? Walk, and read.

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Vince Morrison

Tell us about you, the writer I am Irish born but have lived in New South Wales since the nineteen sixties. I am now retired and living with my wife, Ivy, also Belfast born, in a small village in the Southern Highlands about 90km from Sydney.

My main hobbies and interests have been breeding Samoyeds dogs, training them for obedience trials and the show ring. Photography became a serious hobby then later collecting early film cameras.

Always an avid reader, on retirement I became a member of a local branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW). Writing short stories and memoirs became my passion. Twenty of my short stories and memoirs (mostly Irish memoirs) have been short listed in writing competitions within Australia. A number have been published in local newspapers and writing magazines.

‘The North Man’ is my first completed novel of 59,000 words. It is set in Ireland during the Second World War.

At present, I am working on an updated book of my short stories and memoirs and hope to place them on writer’s web.

How long have you been writing? 17/18 years

What has inspired your writing?  It began when I wrote a number of memoir stories, mainly for my family and friends to read.

Tell us about your writing process: I keep a notebook and pen in my bedroom and often wake up with an idea for a story. I also find inspiration when I go walking each day on our quiet country roads near my home.

What are your books about? My novel is set in Ireland during the Second World War.

The North Man is fiction, but based on a man I met when I was about seven years old. The book tells of Joe, a travelling salesman who sells his wares from door-to-door and at markets squares and fairgrounds throughout Ireland. He lives a nomadic, easy going life style, enjoying boisterous drinking and sharing the beds of his many lady friends.

The Second World War creates problems. Goods to sell are in short supply so he joins the risky, but money making business of smuggling over the border between Eire and Northern Ireland. He meets a landlady who takes his fancy but she shows an instant dislike for him.  His attempts to bed her, lead to humorous situations. Danger shows when gunrunners, police and the outlawed IRA enter the cross border smuggling. For Joe, his easygoing life is gone forever.

What are you reading? I am researching historical books in the local libraries for my next novel set in the 1840’s.

Who are your favourite authors and why? Jennifer Johnston. Her short novels are elegantly crafted and a joy to read. Edward Rutherfurd writes wonderful sweeping historical novels that educate and delight his readers.   Michael Connelly sets the bar high with his well written crime novels. Henning Mankill, the Swedish author, became a favorite with his Kurt Wallander series. The Wallander novels ended last year and I’m still looking for another series to take their place.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why? One which demands you drop everything you are doing to read into the wee small hours of the morning.

What do you do when you are not writing? I read two or three books per week. I enjoy converting my old pictures, negatives and slides to digital, then use a Photoshop program to enhance and repair when necessary. I listen to a variety of music, from classical to country.

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QRRRWN Celebrating 20 years…

The Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network Inc (QRRRWN) was formed in 1993 to meet the needs of women in rural communities throughout the state. It was originally known as the QRWN but we altered our name to QRRRWN in 2012.  Since then it’s grown to be a progressive organisation running a series of programs in regional centres as well as being involved at a national and international level.

The membership of QRRRWN includes women and men who are:

  • located in a rural or regional area
  • involved in a rural business (town based or primary production)
  • involved in a rural community
  • located in urban or coastal areas, and who have an interest in rural issues
  • interested in promoting strong links between the rural and urban sectors.

Our focus is on all rural women and their families, communities and enterprises.

To celebrate it’s 20th birthday, writers’ web co-ordinated a short story competition.  Those writers included in the collection are….

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Margaret Gregory id photo

Margaret Gregory

Margaret began writing at high school, and wrote on and off while working to attain a Master of Science degree. After working as an analytical chemist for ten years, participating in activities with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and raising a family, she moved on to study writing and editing, and achieve a Diploma in Library and Information services.

She entered her first novel “The Wild One” in the Fellowship of Australian Writer’s Jim Hamilton Award (2011) and received a highly commended. This award being for an unpublished novel of sustained quality.

Now with her boys grown up, she has begun to rewrite her early novels and is now also Science Editor for The Australia Times.

She lives with her three men in Melbourne, Australia, in a house with a metal roof that is used as a runway by possums

How long have you been writing?

Since I was in high school – off and on. Usually stealing time from study, housework and other activities when the ideas insist on being written down.

What has inspired your writing?  

Liking to look at things in different ways to normal and exploring the possibilities. Sometimes a new word sparks a story idea. The first long story was sparked by the concept of a “triumvirate”.

Tell us about your writing process:

Since this has covered several decades, this has changed with time. When I have a fascinating idea, I try to jot it down before distractions happen. Then, if I am working on a story, I try to work on the idea while doing household tasks until I am happy and then add it to the manuscript. For my first draft, I usually hand write it. I can keep up with the flow of ideas that way – typing takes more thought and distracts me. However, when I type up the manuscript – that is also my first revision, as I am reading through more slowly and can spot problems.

What are your books about?

I like writing fantasy, mostly my main character is female, but not exclusively. In several storylines, the character has a talent or skill that most people don’t have and therefore have a task to do.

What are you reading?

The Collegium Chronicles series by Mercedes Lackey.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce, as well as Clive Cussler, John Creasey, Arthur Upfield, Raymond Feist.  I like these authors because in their different ways, they stimulate my mind and give me ideas.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

My idea of a perfect book is one that when I reach the end, I want to go back and read it again. That way, when I am looking at my book library – audio, ebook or print, I have a choice of friends to visit with.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Apart from the normal work of running a household, I write science articles for The Australia Times, help coordinate a writers group (Rowville Aspiring Writers), and help the local basketball club.

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Matthew Burgess - high resolution head shot ebook

Matthew Burgess

Tell us about you, the writer

In early 2006 I gave away the family television (effectively replicating for my children the TV free upbringing I had). In my newfound spare time, I started drafting a series of business books and a collection of illustrated children’s stories.  These books are in addition to my published books of  law related blog posts since 2010.

How long have you been writing? Since 2010

What has inspired your writing?  To share learning

What are your books about?

Law  – As a sought after presenter for many leading tax, accounting and legal associations, I also regularly present for financial institutions, investment houses and insurance companies both in purely technical areas for advisers as well as more practically focused sessions for clients directly.

Children’s – Psydenom Lily Burgess

Under my pseudonym of Lily Burgess, I have commenced a series of children’s books.  These books evolved from a conversation I had with my daughter Lily one evening, when she was about four years old, she said to me, “Daddy, please tell me another story from your mouth”.

There was always a strong undertone in my stories to deliver life lessons, while keeping the children engaged with humour and expression.  From that day on, my stories became known as “Words from Daddy’s mouth”.

I had so many stories that I had to create a list to remember them all (at last count the list was over 400). So over time a game developed where the children would choose a number from this list. Whatever story related to the number chosen would be the story I would tell.  Stories were usually told as the last part of the wind down of an evening, sitting together in a bedroom or on a lounge chair.

What are you reading? Personally, Malcolm Gladwell.  To the kids, Pamela Allen, Dr Suess, AA Milne, CS Lewis, JK Rowling

 Who are your favourite authors and why? Gladwell, Pink, Christensen and Heller – they inspire thinking

What do you do when you are not writing? Read

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James Holden

James Holden

Tell us about you, the writer

Originally from the UK, I moved to Australia in 1990 and now live in Toowoomba, Queensland. My children are from Ethiopia and this stunning country and its beautiful people hold a special place in my heart. In 1996 I started an adventure travel company with a friend and for six years we took groups of Australians along the arduous Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, to the breathless top of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and up onto the roof of Africa, the spectacular Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. I love to create, whether it’s writing, cooking for friends and family, or home renovations. And one day I want to live in France because that country brings together many of the things that are important to me.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing non-fiction articles since 1999 and fictional short stories since 2003.

What has inspired your writing?  

My love of writing has developed over many years, starting with a love of reading, largely thanks to my mother who reads widely (and very quickly!) I started writing fiction as part of a Masters degree in professional communications, which I completed in 2006. People seemed to enjoy my work and I loved the process of starting with an idea and finishing with a complete story, so I continued until I had a collection, which is my first book, Questions and Answers.

Tell us about your writing process:

My stories generally come from a conversation or something I have read or seen that sparks my interest. Sometimes I just make a few notes and sometimes I write the first couple of paragraphs of a story that may or may not be continued!

What are your books about?

Questions and Answers is about relationships, love stories in fact, but written in the main from the male perspective.

What are you reading?

I’m reading Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Helen Garner because she makes words come to life.  Paulo Coelho because he writes to inspire.  Alex Miller because he shows what it’s like to be in love.  Nick Hornby because he makes the commonplace a place I want to be.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

My perfect book is one that I can immerse myself in, that won’t let me go until I’ve read the last page.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I’m the Australian marketing manager for a global seed company. I also work with an adventure trekking company called Adventure Professionals on marketing and leading trips.


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Victoria Wharfe McIntyre

Victoria has a Bachelor of Professional Writing with a double major in Drama and Cinema Studies. She attended London’s Blake College studying film and video production and trained at the Guildhall in voice and performance. She has a Bachelor of Social Science Award in Psychophonetics and an AdDip in Psychotherapy. She has written several short films including The Telegram Man staring Jack Thompson Gary Sweet and Sigrid Thornton which was awarded the BAFTA LA for best foreign short, nominated for Best Short in the 2012 AACTAs and has won numerous international and Australian awards. Her feature film script Clara on the life of pianist Clara Schumann reached Top Semi-Finalist in the American Producers Association 2012 competition, and she has just written / directed / produced a television pilot Eldest Of None. She has written for Four Stars International LA and is a development executive with OSSCCA screen services. Follow Your Nose is her first novel. 

How long have you been writing? 

Been writing all my life, but have focused in a professional sense over the last 5 or 6 years.

What has inspired your writing?

Nature is my greatest inspiration and if I can help reconnect people with the precious, beautiful, healing, wild natural world that surrounds us then I’d be very happy. Follow Your Nose is all about inspiring kids to get out and communicate with a world beyond humanity.

Tell us about your writing process:

I’m not into control – I like to sit down and see what comes out – if I’m surprised and interested in developments hopefully the reader will be too.

What are your books about?

Acceptance and love of others and self, finding ways to communicate effectively and heal the individual and in so doing the world.

What are you reading?

Researching for a couple of film projects. Reading about Vietnam war and factory farming of animals…..quite depressing actually….so to compensate I just read Dean Koontz Little Big Life, which left me a blubbering mess of joy.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Can’t go past Jane Austen, still the most clever books I read.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

The perfect book has me reading at 1 am promising myself I’ll turn off the light at the end of the chapter and knowing I’ll just start reading the next one. 

What do you do when you are not writing?

Play with my schnoodle puppies who provide no end of delight and spend time in my rain forest watching the creatures go about their business.


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Jack Davis

How long have I been writing?

I’ve been writing for about 30 years.

What inspired your writing?

My interest in people and how they react to other people, time and place.

Your writing process…

I first create my characters and then drop them into a particular time and place (eg, the northern suburbs of Melbourne in the mid 1950s) I then juggle these 3 elements into a workable plot.

What are your books about?

 The people of their time. 

What am you reading?

Alistair Maclean, Goodbye California.  A bit disappointing actually – not his best.

Who are your favourite authors?

Dick Francis, Tim Winton, Thomas Keneally.  Jeffrey Archer. No particular reason for this choice.  I read fiction for pleasure and relaxation, non-fiction for information. I don’t like deep and meaningful stuff; I leave that for the academic elite.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

Mine, because I wrote it!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I do all the things husbands, fathers and grandfathers are expected to do. When I’m not writing I like to do something with my hands – make models of buildings and cars etc. 

   paint a bit.

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terrie corp

Terrie Anderson

Terrie Anderson has worked as a business leader both locally and internationally for many years, meeting new challenges with success, and new people with delight. Embracing the human spirit as the flame that ignites great organizations she now writes on the productivity of charismatic communication.

She is very committed to the belief that The Human Connection could change human destiny and help bring peace to our world. Terrie approaches the world with warmth, happiness and an open honesty which is reflected in her books.  She lives in Australia with her heart, her partner and Easydog their treasured best friend, but says her soul lives in Limpopo South Africa, a land she feels connected to spiritually. Terrie is a founding member of the Fellowship of Southern Lights.

How long have you been writing?

Terrie first wrote The Little Red Success Book in 1992 and sold over 3000 copies, but did not write anything more until 2009. Since then she has written and published 3 more books including One Minute More which has become her passion.

Tell us about your writing process…

Terrie gets the concept, forms a draft on paper and then writes the entire book conceptually in her head before starting on the script. Once started, the writing flows easily followed by the editing process which she describes as painful.

What are your books about?

The books are written to encourage people to embrace their potential for a full and happy life in simple and easy ways. The latest book explores the significant personal benefits of being able to connect with others in a memorable and positive way.

What are you reading?

The Perfect Present by Karen Swan and rereading Message of a Master by John McDonald,

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I no longer have favourite authors, I love exploring new authors and new concepts and genres now.

What is your idea of a perfect book?

If its fiction then it must allow me to lose myself within the pages, enter another world and create wonderful visual images as I read.  If its non fiction then the perfect book is one where I can learn something without feeling strain of concentration.  A perfect book is one I cannot put down, and find myself stirring Easydogs dinner with the book still in my hand. One that I miss at the end, and think of often.

What do you do when not writing?

Enjoying conversation and company of friends, music, travel to remote places, riding big, bad motorbikes, following a piece of history, sailing, animals and nature, and watching sunsets.

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Angeline photo

Angeline Beikoff

Angeline Beikoff lives in Mackay, Queensland with her husband. She has two children. Where her earlier profession as a draftsperson involved her in the local Sugar Milling and Coal Mining Industries she now devotes her time to writing novels that inspire a reader’s imagination.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for two years.

What has inspired your writing?

I love reading, I love losing myself in the well told story. I love living the imaginary tale that the written word invokes, and if a piece is written so well that I can see the colour, hear the voices, and breathe the same air as the characters, I read with a smile on my face. This is where I hope to take my readers.

Tell us about your writing process:

When I wrote ‘The Perfect Catch’ my idea for the story was born during a fishing trip in a quiet little creek. Out of nowhere my husband said ‘this would be the perfect place to hide a body’. With this strange comment, my imagination took over. Once I seriously set myself this task, I allowed the story to lead the way.

What are your books about?

My books touch on crime. My crime has a certain justice that will leave some readers comfortable and others offended.

What are you reading?

Jessica by Bryce Courtney

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Stephen King – his story telling is detailed and alive.  John Grisham – his plots are unique and bear heavily on the law.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

It is the book that allows reality to rule no matter what the subject, and leaves no questionable detail in the telling. The perfect book is the one that at the smallest hint of spare time, I rush to read. It is the book that no matter what time has passed since I put it down, I don’t have to re-read yesterday’s page, today’s page is a continuation of a familiar journey.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I read as much as I can. Books of all genre except for sci-fi. I do road trips down the Australian East Coast.


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Luciana Cavallaro

Luciana Cavallaro grew up in a small country town in Western Australia. She moved to Perth to study teaching at university. Luciana is the first in her family to attain a university degree. She began writing as a cathartic exercise after a traumatic car accident. Since then she has attended writers’ workshops and is a member of various writer’s associations.

Luciana has always been interested in Mythology and Ancient History but her passion wasn’t realised until seeing the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. From then on, her inspiration to write Historical Fantasy was borne.

She has written 2 novels with a third in progress and is writing a short story series Accursed Women.

How long have you been writing?

I dabbled for a few years before becoming serious about writing about 13 years ago. Working full-time makes it difficult and more so when you’re teacher. A lot of energy goes into creating exciting lessons and pretty much drained by the end of the day. I’d write during the school holidays and on weekends. Not always ideal but you take what you can.

What has inspired your writing? 

Travelling through Italy and Greece; seeing the ancient sites has always been a dream of mine. It was magical and the ole creative juices started bubbling. Plus I read Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey which sparked a thirst to learn and read more about ancient civilisations.

Tell us about your writing process:

An idea sometimes comes out of something I’ve read or seen and I run to write it down in my ‘ideas notepad’ before I forget.

Once the concept is written, I then brainstorm. Try to put down as much information about it as I can and once that’s done, I develop it into scenes. I try not to be too prescriptive. Then the research begins.

I try to follow the schema I have created but as the story progresses it doesn’t always happen. The characters tend to take over and control the process!

What are your books about?

My books are Historical Fiction/Fantasy based on Greek Mythology, although I do have ideas for stories not premised on Ancient Greece.

What are you reading?

At present I’m reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth and a fellow indie writer Rosary McQuestion’s book Once Upon Another Time.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I have too many favourite authors but there are a few who stand out: David Gemmell, Sarah Douglass, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Robert Harris, Michael Connelly… I’ll stop now.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

A story that teleports me from reality and into the narrative. Books I can’t put down. I do read a lot of non-fiction books, they help with making my stories more authentic and I like to learn new things. Plus finding gems of information I hadn’t known before like Pandora who didn’t open a ‘box’, it was an urn. Great, isn’t it?

What do you do when you are not writing?

I read books from other authors, like to potter around in the garden, exercise, go out to dinner and the movies.

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Di Ellis - author

Dianne Ellis

Tell us about you, the writer

I truly appreciate the written word, both when reading and writing stories.  Poetry has played a large part in my life, composing many verses over the years which I’ve enjoyed sharing with family and friends on special occasions.

In the past 10 years, my love of writing has steered me towards children’s stories and I have completed three children’s novels and six picture books and have many lovable characters popping into my head for when I write future books.

More recently, I have written my first adult novel and once again treasured this writing experience.

How long have you been writing? 

I’ve been writing poetry all my life and drafted my first children’s novel around 2001.

What has inspired your writing?  

My experiences in life, living where I live, the fact that I have more time to write.  I’ve always had funny characters and stories pop into my head – it’s great now to have the motivation and confidence to turn them into written stories.  Also, the fact that I have joined two writing groups, one for fiction writers and the other group based on children’s stories.

Tell us about your writing process: 

It actually started quite unusually ie I was working full-time in a corporate office and as part of my duties, I attended a writing course for my speech writing.  A component of that course was based on creative writing, in which I scored a very high mark for a children’s book chapter and advised by my mentor that I should complete this book because children need to read it.  So, I started writing picture books, children’s novels, continued with poetry and have now completed my first adult fiction novel.   In other words, I haven’t stopped.

When submitting one of my first picture books to a publisher, I was advised to re-write it without rhyme.  I tried and tried but it didn’t work.  So, I decided to self-publish.

4.     What are your books about?

Rusty Rumble and his Smelly Socks tells the story of the Rumble family giving Rusty a home.  They find him in the pound and take him home and look after him.  Rusty loves his new family so much that when he’s left at home and feeling very alone, he devises a plan to sneak a smelly sock from each member of his family and tuck them in his bed.  This way, he can smell them (his loved ones) all through the day.  This story also shows children what is involved with giving a dog a good home.

Rusty Rumble’s Day at the Beach was written because the first book was so popular.  Rusty shares a day at the beach with his family and experiences many funny things, along with mini disasters.  The highlight is when Rusty, who hates to get wet, gallantly protects his family by biting a shark on its fin and sending it on its way out to sea.  He is the hero of the day – in Rusty’s mind, he just wants to keep his loved ones safe.

What are you reading?  

‘Jack of Diamonds’ by Bryce Courtenay – his last book.

Who are your favourite authors and why?   

I have to say Bryce Courtenay because of his great diversity in writing.  Mitch Albom , Cathy Kelly (for characterisation), Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, Jodi Piccoult.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?   

For me, a good book must grab me from the first chapter.  I don’t like too many characters introduced too fast as I like to visualise each character and let their personalities develop through the author’s words.  I like detail throughout a book, but not diversion as it’s too hard to get back to the original thread of the story.  I like to experience new/different authors.

What do you do when you are not writing? 

Work part-time (2 days/week) in a corporate office, pilates, gym classes, walking, gardening. 



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Anne Rouen

Anne Rouen is the alter ego of Lynn Newberry: a country woman from the New South Wales New England region, who breeds Brangus cattle by day and is a dedicated, passionate horsewoman.

The lady behind Anne Rouen has completed a specialist teaching degree in the Rural Sciences department of the University of New England, and has spent most of her life involved in the agricultural industry—twenty of them as an educator.

Throughout her career, Lynn has escaped the everyday demands of work through the hand of Anne Rouen. Although Master of Illusion is her first published novel, she has seen success with her short story writing and recently achieved a Highly Commended in the Rolf Boldrewood Literary Awards (2011) for ‘The Scent of a Criminal’.

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Margôt Tesch

I’m 55 and recently undertook a tree change – leaving behind my IT project management consultancy business to run a cattle grazing property with my husband. This has given me time to pursue new interests. While completing my Master of Arts (Writing), I wrote Beyond Belief, my first novel. I’m working on number two.

How long have you been writing?

Writing has been a major component of my corporate life. Early in my career I wrote many user and technical manuals and then later in my career was writing business cases for multi-million dollar IT implementations including detailed request for offer documents. I just loved having a major writing project so it was natural to want to pursue creative writing when I had the time. Since joining my husband on the property in 2008, I’ve been writing blogs, articles for magazines and newspapers, written my first novel and am currently working on my second.

What has inspired your writing? 

My creative writing is inspired by my fascination in the human condition. Having been a fundamentalist Christian for many years, I decided not to follow that belief system any more. This decision opened my mind to a richness of new thinking and the world of philosophy and belief systems. I like to explore these themes in my writing and love the need to research, study and learn when undertaking a new creative writing project. It offers me a life of continual learning.

Tell us about your writing process:

Habits from my corporate writing days, motivate me to want to define the structure early in the creative process, however, I have learned that it is necessary to abandon this sometimes, to enable creative development of ideas. My first work was autobiographic so the research required was minimal. My second work is much more challenging and explores areas of neurology, psychology and human behaviour. I spend a great deal of time, reading, researching, even undertaking on-line university courses in neurology to inspire my writing.

What are your books about?

My books are about people first and foremost and I like to explore our belief systems and the way we think about ourselves. I’m interested in the stories we tell ourselves and our capacity for denial when we see or hear things that conflict with our preconceived ideas. I’m fascinated by narcissism in its extreme and like to explore such characters and the lives of those around them in my work.

What are you reading?

I am reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, NLP: New Technology: The New Technology by NLP Comprehensive, Steve Andreas, Charles Faulkner, Black Juice by Margo Lanagan, FasterEFT by Robert G Smith.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I recently finished reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck and I am a total fan.  Joseph Campbell challenges and warms me at the same time.  Margo Lanagan is absolutely amazing.  How do I create this list?  There are too many!

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

This question makes me laugh and I don’t think there is any such thing as the perfect book. Having written one now myself, I realise that you just decide to stop editing, it is never “finished”. I’m looking for books that challenge me and take me to places emotionally and intellectually that I have never been to before.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Partner with my husband on our cattle grazing property, renovate our old farm house, study (I’m enrolled in Massive Open Online learning – MOOCs), exercise (I run, weight train, hike), spend time with family (though they are mostly overseas), plan our next holiday or adventure.


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David Daniel

I have been variously a soldier, sailor, student, Animal Health Field Officer, Beef Cattle Extension Officer, lecturer, consultant, writer and illustrator.  I was born in country Tasmania and enjoyed a fairly idyllic life of fun and freedom until rudely called up and sent off to a faraway Asian war. This tended to jolt my senses and I eventually completed my Agricultural Science and later rural extension and sociology qualifications.

I spend 10 years in Cape York and the Torres Strait developing programs to keep out exotic diseases and pests of animals (Rough as Guts) and then became involved in extension projects to help rural producers meet markets, farmers in developing countries learn with farmer-first models as well as general training and counselling and project management in rural areas.

Then I retired to live the dream. My first mate and I went sailing with a vertical learning curve dodging hard bits up and down the east coast of Australia and then out into the Pacific Islands (Old Salty Tales).   Today I live in the hills of South East Queensland with my partner Heather, three horses, 3 cattle, a dog and cat, many feral deer and untold kangaroos and wallabies.

How long have you been writing?

I spent about 30 years writing officially in the bureaucratic system of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries… gobblygook as well as text books and manuals. It’s taken another ten years to unlearn that style and to write so people can understand me and hopefully be entertained.

What has inspired your writing?

I’ve had some interesting experiences and jobs, particularly in remote and challenging areas and I wanted to share some of that with other people: the places, the characters, the sticky situations and the humour. I’ve lived life to the full and enjoyed the ride.

Tell us about your writing process:

I’m very right-brained…process is not something I’m familiar with. I go into a writing frenzy when the mood hits and can be prolific until I hit the wall. I do need peace and quiet though and I generally mind-map my topic with lines going off to points to be included under each heading. I write best early morning and my brain is mush by early evening.

What are your books about?

Most of my books are about adventure and the fun side of life which I compliment with my illustrations. I base them on experiences, travel and history with a touch of satire. I do like to take the mickey out of people or situations but mostly I do it to myself. I find I like to have the experiences, then reflect and put it down with candour and humour.

Currently I am writing my first work of fiction…a racy thriller that includes the black market trade in body organs, illicit arms, sea-slugs, romance and old submarine pens.

What are you reading?

My most recent book has been ‘Educating Alice’ by Alice Greenup. Alice was a work colleague who has written a fabulous, moving, honest, funny and thoroughly readable memoir.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Frederick Forsyth and Jeffery Archer for never really knowing what is what or what is going to happen next and the clever twists they pull.  Bill Bryson… for his totally improbable comparisons and humour in his travel adventures.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

I want to feel I’m in it. I want to laugh, cry and have all the emotions of the characters without being able to predict the end. I particularly enjoy thrillers but also like historical and travel books.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Sail, do maintainance, play pretty awful country guitar, draw, horse-ride, chase grand kids and help look after 36 acres of mountain country with marvellous views and a main crop of rocks.

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Antoinette Conolly

Tell us about you, the writer:

Antoinette Conolly is a writer of science fiction/fantasy novels for children. She lives in Sydney and visits primary schools and libraries to speak to students about reading/writing and her books.  A former high school teacher, Antoinette taught foreign languages (French, German, Italian) and was also a consultant in Training and Development for the Education Department of New South Wales.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Newcastle University and a Master of Educational Administration from New South Wales University.  Her novels are suitable for 7 – 13 year old readers.

How long have you been writing?

About 8 years

What has inspired your writing?  

A love of reading – still read three books a week. Also wrote as a child and teenager when at Uni. Had some poems published when in high school. Always wanted to write fantasy for children, but did not have time until I retired from high school teaching.

What are your books about: 

The trilogy follow the adventures of a 10 year old boy and his cat, in the world of Cauchemar.  A Key to Time is about the travels of a nine year old who discovers a time machine.

What are you reading? 

I read only science fiction, some murder mysteries and a few biographies.

Favourite authors and why?  

Terry Brooks, Raymond Feist, Stephen Baxter, Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams – because their books are well-written and interesting – they still have very active imaginations!

What do you do when not writing?

Read, of course;  play a lot of classical music; (since I have written my books have not had time to play the piano and violin very often)  tapdance; play tennis; knit; collect stamps; and spend time with children and grandchildren. Much of my time is taken up visiting schools and libraries speaking about reading’writing and my books.



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Nicole Hauesler Headshot

Nicole Hauesler

Nicole Hauesler finished her third book at aged 11.  Her books focus on subjects like coping with the loss of a loved one, dealing with arguments and managing serious illness.  Her latest book, Mateship for Sure features a page dedicated to dealing with Juvenile Diabetes, something she is all to familiar with.

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One of my fondest memories of early childhood was listening to my Dad’s spontaneous bedtime stories. Years later he would find me curled up in a chair in the cold lounge room reading the bible. I was only seven and searching for truth then, but didn’t know it. In mid-life, when the material world no longer provided fulfilment, my quest resurrected. Spirituality, metaphysics and astrology found me and I knew that universal truth would eventually be revealed. Then the extraordinary celestial and extra-terrestrial interactions and journeys into multi-dimensional experiences, written about in I Am An Experiment, began. Ten self-published books followed.

I love the way life unfolds and I know I have more mysteries still to uncover. I’ll continue writing and teaching because I can’t imagine ever retiring.

How long have you been writing?

Since 1995

What has inspired your writing?  

Direct spiritual guidance, the incredible accuracy of astrology and the desire to awaken and inspire readers to understand their deepest truth, and that of other dimensional realities.

Tell us about your writing process:

My incessant mind chatter created insomnia and depression and, because I wasn’t willing to continue living life this way, I chose to learn two specific mind-stilling techniques. One was to learn to write with my non-dominant hand and the other was dedicated meditation.

As I became proficient with both disciplines I became aware of clear intuitive guidance directing my words.  My first five books, self-published between 1996 – 97, were transmitted, and written, this way.

What are your books about?

My first five books are based on clear telepathic transmissions from higher dimensional light beings and contain valuable information relative to our world today. The next four books are astrological teaching manuals. My current Experiment book is outlined in the synopsis.

What are you reading?

Currently I am re-reading my favourite books one of which is titled Love Without End -Jesus Speaks by Glenda Green.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I don’t have any favourites now but one of my favourite authors was Barbara Hand Clow, a brilliant USA astrologer and cosmologist.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

A perfect book provides me with the opportunity to learn more about the truth of human existence and the words that fulfil and inspire me are those written by highly advanced love-based enlightened authors.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Spend time with my family, play with my dog, walk in nature, practice yoga, garden, read, travel, teach and study.

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Kasper Beaumont

Kasper is my pen-name and this is my first experience of writing. I am a healthcare worker and am also studying at Uni. I am married with three young hobbits, who provide continual insights and experiences which have inspired me to write. This book will appeal to lovers of fantasy from teenage to adult.

How long have you been writing? 

Only 1 year, although the ideas have been floating around for a long time.

What has inspired your writing?

Travelling, my family and the medieval re-enactment fairs.

Tell us about your writing process:

Honestly, I sat down one day with an idea of a halfling and his bond fairy, then some bad guys invaded their peaceful life and a novel was born.  The halflings carried me along on their adventure.

What are your books about?

A magical fantasy world named Reloria and the capture of the Elven Jewel which protects them.  A group of hunters must go on a quest to recover the jewel.

What are you reading?   

I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I’m inspired by authors who can take me away to a distant place.  I am a big fan of the late Bryce Courtenay and also enjoy many fantasy and supernatural authors.  I really like David and Leigh Eddings and Raymond Feist.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

Hmm, that’s an interesting question.   My idea of a perfect book is one that engages the reader and you voraciously devour each page to find out what will happen to the characters.

What do you do when you are not writing? 

I work, study at Uni, and love my family to bits.

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Oscar Thelander Headshot

Oscar Thelander

Hi, I’m Oscar, I’m nearly 13 years old and I love reading about and drawing Superheroes and of course, Super villains that go with them! I often debate with my friends who is the ultimate Superhero and Supervillain, so I thought I’d write a book about them.

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Mary Pearce Head Shot

Mary Pearce

Tell us about you, the writer

I was born in Sydney New South Wales Australia in 1946. I was raised and educated in the city in post WW2. As a young wife and mother I experienced the challenges, isolation, joys, beauty and hardship of living in North Western New South Wales. I experienced years of drought and grief at the deepest level with the death of two sons and a baby grandson.

I have a love of literature, music and the Arts. I enjoy life and being in the company of good friends and family and have a huge appetite for fun. I have a deep faith and a genuine love for my fellow man.

I am a wife, mother and grandmother and I am employed as a Relationship Educator and Professional Counsellor. I live in Queensland with my husband and many of my children and grandchildren live nearby. Mary’s Ramblings is my first published book.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for most of my life. I just jot things down and have written many, many letters. Mary’s Ramblings, is my first published book.

What has inspired your writing?

I was inspired to write because I wanted to share my story. I wanted to share my experience of grief and survival in the hope that it may help my fellow man. I also have a   love of reading, sharing stories and language. I have a great respect for the written word and an awareness of the impact it can have on a person’s life. My husband suggests that it is my innate sense of being an entertainer that inspires me to write. I am inspired to write because writing is important; it records history, imparts knowledge and information, provides communication and entertains.

Tell us about your writing process:

My writing process is probably, completely unconventional. I simply write things down as thoughts come to me and then pull all the ideas together. When I was a student I was told that I was global thinker and it was always a challenge for me to write academically. It still is! I just jot things down, re-write and write many drafts before I am satisfied with what I have written.

What are your books about?

I have only written one book, Mary’s Ramblings. It is the story of the courage and faith of a young mother as she comes to terms with the tragedy of burying two sons and a grandson. It tells of the challenges and isolation of living in an isolated part of the country. However, despite this it is intermingled with humour a positive attitude and an authentic experience of life.

What are you reading?

I am reading: The Help by Kathryn Stockett and Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

My favourite authors are: Ken Follett, Bryce Courtney, Maeve Binchy, Kate Morton and Kathryn Stockett.  I love their style of writing and the content they write about. Their stories allow me to go deeply into my imagination and become part of the story. I love Ken Follett books as I appreciate the research on which his stories are based. Bryce Courtney books I enjoy reading due to the social justice issues he addresses in his writings.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

My idea of the perfect book is one that you simply cannot put down.  A story that captures your imagination and transports you to that place the story is describing. It is a book that continues to enthral and invites you more and more deeply into the story.

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I am not writing I work as a Relationship Educator and Professional Counsellor. I also enjoy being in the company of my good friends and family and soak up all the joy my grandchildren bring. I love to sing, play the piano, listen to classical music, read books, and watch interesting documentaries and movies. I also travel, socialise with friends, drink red wine, tell jokes and have fun. I also do the housework, cook, walk and pray.


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George Mallory Headshot

George Mallory

Tell us about you, the writer

I was born in Serbia, a son of Russian immigrants, who escaped Stalin’s communism. Balkans is a melting pot of scores of different ethnic groups who manage to live side by side, except when stirred up by xenophobic zealots – then ancient hatreds flare up and atrocities are committed by all sides.

My mother managed to shield me from this hotbed of conflicts by teaching me her mother’s tongue – Russian – and introduced me to literature. I could read and write before I was five. By the age of seven I had read a lot of Russian classical literature – Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and others.

At the age twelve I was boarding with a Hungarian family who had an extensive library of world literature. I devoured Balzac, Dumas and Shakespeare – all translated into Hungarian. My teachers were impressed with my intellectual development and predicted a successful writing career. Alas it was not to be – at least not for a very long time.

We left Serbia (then a part of Yugoslavia) and after two years in the lovely Italian city of Trieste, settled in Lithgow. It took me a while to get over the cultural shock. I concentrated on obtaining my Leaving Certificate and enrolled in the University of NSW to do a Mechanical Engineering course, because it seemed to me to be a path to financial success.

In the last two years of the course we did what was generally known as “humanities” – English, Australian History, Philosophy and Psychology. Having obtained my degree I started working in the air-conditioning industry, but the yearning for general knowledge propelled me do a part time Arts course at Sydney University, where in due course I graduated as a B.A., majoring in English and Psychology.

My business career and two marriages kept me away from writing, but not from reading, and to this day I remain a voracious reader.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing novels some fourteen years ago. Now that I am semi-retired, I have more time on my hands to devote to this activity. I have completed three novels and am on my fourth.

What has inspired your writing?

I always wanted to write a historical novel. My first book was about a woman-surgeon working on the front line of the Russo-Japanese war in Manchuria in 1904/5. She battles simultaneously her own demons and the prejudice against women in medicine.

Workshopping the novel at the NSW Writers Centre rekindled my old writing bug. I truly enjoy sharing my work with a cohort of peers where we provide constructive inputs to each other’s writing.

Tell us about your writing process:

First I pick a general topic, be it historical, business, popular subject or whatever.  Then I invent my protagonist, usually a strong person, more often than not, a woman.

Next comes the story – this is the pivot around which everything else revolves. I invent internal problems for my protagonist, and his/her goals in life. Next come the obstacles in resolving the problems and achieving goals. Circumstances (created by the protagonist or others) put roadblocks in progress towards fulfilment.

From then on, as I start writing, my characters themselves tell me what’s happening, how they deal with problems I throw their way, and where they want to go. I continually get surprised where they take me.

What are your books about?

One novel is a historical drama, another a modern-day terrorist plot story, and the third fell into my lap when I met a person on whose diary the novel is based – the topic being modern-day prostitution slavery rackets in Europe.

What are you reading?

Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, George Orwell, James Joyce, Phillip Roth and Virginia Wolf, to mention a few.  I can’t get enough of well-written court-room drama. Grisham, Patterson, Gripopando and the like.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Tolstoy and particularly Dostoyevsky . These two are past masters of deep understanding of human nature.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

One that keeps me awake all night, a page-turner, where conflicts and emotions are not contrived. I must believe that the characters experience real-life problems and at the end come up with solutions that change them, hopefully for the better. An ending that does not produce a perfect resolution, not necessarily riding into the sunset, happy ever-after.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Private dwellings Architectural Design and DA submissions.  And reading, of course – lots of it.


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Alannah ONeil Excuses Excuses Headshot

Alannah O’Neil

My name is Alannah O’Neil. I am 12 years old and in grade 7 at Middle Ridge State School. I live with my Mum, Julie and my Dad, Damien and my two sisters. I am the middle sister. My older sister is 16 years old and her name is Kaitlyn and my younger sister is 9 years old and her name is Monique. This is my first book and I hope that people will enjoy reading it. I’ve only just started writing. This is my first book. My writing is inspired by my wild imagination & I’m told that I tell great stories – sometimes they are quite unbelieveable!  This book is about someone who tells wild stories that are truthful but nobody believes them. It shows that you should always tell the truth because the truth will always come out in the end. I am currently reading the Dork Diaries and Roald Dahl books. Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl are my favourite authors because their books are always
interesting and imaginative.  A perfect book for me is something that takes me into another world while I am reading it. It is like I am really there.

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Annemarie Headshot

Annemarie De Seriere

I am the creator of Resoulutions 4 Life – a service that offers a range of natural therapies and personal empowerment programs – with a holistic approach. Prior to this I worked for many years in aged care and palliative care; supported people with disabilities; and worked in retreats for people battling depression, anxiety, stress and addictions. I am 1 of 9 children and the mother of 2 amazing souls. I have traveled much in my life – my partner and I now live a nomadic lifestyle. We work and live on the road, enabling us to offer many free ‘self empowerment’ programs to different communities. Our spiritual principles sustain harmony in our relationship.  I come from a diverse background and have faced many life challenges - leading to a deep interest in human behaviour. I’m enthusiastic about self change and showing others how to take the reins of their own life.
How long have you been writing?
Professionally approximately 4 years – self published Will to Wonder in October 2010 – but personally since I was a teenager (I am now 53).
What has inspired your writing?
LIFE!… It didn’t make much sense to me and I struggled to understand what life and all it’s man-made rules was about – I was often called a ‘dreamer’.  Writing was my way to see things from different angles, helping me to understand myself and life better.  Now I write because I have found my voice. I have found a way to reclaim my
inner power, to remain true to my spiritual worth and to realise my dreams. I feel a sense of duty to share this information with others.
Tell us about your writing process:
I often get ‘aha moments’ when I least expect them, so I always carry a notepad with me. When I began Will to Wonder it was more of a journaling and churning on what I was learning – it developed into a book for others to learn. I find writing healing, so often I will simply write what comes to mind and work out later if it is to be shared with others or not. By keeping many notes I find that they usually fit in perfectly somewhere, so trusting the process – rather than question or doubt – is important. I also set time frames
to ensure I don’t procrastinate and complete important projects.
What are your books about?
Personal and Spiritual Development. It shares information for taking control back over our own life, giving practical tools that are simple to understand.  Will to Wonder has already helped many re-claim their inner power!
What are you reading?
‘Pearls of Wisdom‘ by Dadi Janki
Who are your favourite authors and why?
Dan Millman – ‘Way of the Peaceful Warrior’ got me started on my spiritual path many years ago. His ability to laugh at his own foolishness and to mix fact with fiction I found very clever.  Bryce Courtney – his honesty in ‘April Fools Day’ – I was captured from the start.  Carolyn Ward – her clarity in ‘The Four Faces of Woman’.  Mike George – his practical, light approach in ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Wise’.  Paulo Coelho – that all important message in ‘The Alchemist’ – through trulybelieving in possibilities, you can turn anything into ‘gold’.
What is your idea of the perfect book and why?
One that is inspired through personal experience. Either through non-fiction or messages so well disguised in fantasy that it takes you on a wonderful journey – yet teaches you something about life. It must be simple and clear to understand. A book that makes me think outside the box, helps me stretch my imagination and boundaries, and grabs me instantly – not to have to labour through many pages to get to the ‘good bits’.
What do you do when you are not writing?
We travel a lot – have lived a nomadic lifestyle for more than 2 years. We sold our house in Landsborough, Sunshine Coast, Queensland around the same time that ‘Will to Wonder’ was published, and have been on the road ever since. I offer many paid and free workshops / seminars / programs – all based on personal development – to different communities, individuals and organisations. I give free spiritual skype classes and give free ‘Virtue Scopes’ - an individual 12 month reading based on their own virtues. I’m also a qualified shiatsu, bowen and reiki therapist as well as an infant massage instructor – so offer these services on the road as well.

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Ben Rosenberger Charactature Headshot

Ben Rosenberger

Ben wrote and illustrated this book in 2009, when he was a participant in the Child Writes classes at Sacred Heart. He chose his favourite subject – warheads – for his story!

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Katie Chicalas Headshot

Katie Chicalas

My name is Katie Chicalas and I am 10 years old. I am from Charleville, a small town in outback Queensland where the sun is really hot on the red dusty soil and the
kangaroos jump everywhere! My Mum is from the UK and she took me to London when I saw Buckingham Palace and wished I could visit the Queen. She seems so lovely… I hope you enjoy Molly’s adventure and have a little laugh!!!!

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Denise Guymer Profile Pil

Denise Guymer

I grew up on a property near the small country town of Wallumbilla.  I had an idyllic childhood and there was no television there until I was 12.  Therefore as a child I was required to make my own fun.  I remember spending a lot of time reading, swimming in the big dam, climbing trees, watching birds and animals and taming semi wild kittens in the hay shed.  At school my Year 7 teacher was impressed with my writing skills and he told my mother that one day I would write a book.  It was not until I had my first child that I realised that children’s books on the market very bland at the time, but I was too busy having children.  It was not until my grandchildren were born (now that there are wonderful books on the market) that I rekindled my desire to write a book.  I was inspired to write Gregory the Greedy Duck when a duck almost crashed into my car on the way home from work. 

How long have you been writing?  Inspired by world mythology stories, I have been researching an idea for a major novel since I was 17, but have only seriously been writing Palimpsest in the last 10 years.  After the duck incident I wrote the first draft of Gregory the Greedy Duck about Christmas 2010.  It took a lot more time to organise editing, an illustrator and a printer to finally produce the hard copy of Gregory at the end of June 2012.  I have since written a sequel to Gregory which is Gregory and the Bully. This is a story of where Gregory is being bullied by Malcolm the Magpie at the park. It is a story that people who have been bullied can identify with and gives techniques of how Gregory overcomes his problem.  I have only written the story at this stage and have not as yet published it.

What has inspired your writing?  I have been an English teacher in the Queensland Education system for the past 16 years and I did the 7 Steps to Writing Success course with Jen McVeity in November 2009 as professional development. Initially I signed up for this course hoping it would help with teaching creative writing ideas to my students. It was such a great course that it became the inspiration for my own writing.  At the time I knew my writing skills were quite bland and needed some help.  This was the initial course that fired my enthusiasm and gave me the confidence to start writing seriously.

Tell us about your writing process: I procrastinate a lot with my writing and the moment has to be just right – I don’t like writing when other people are about.  I prefer to be sitting on my bed or lounge in complete quiet.  I also sometimes go to a park on a nice sunny day to get the creative juices flowing.

What are your books about? Gregory the Greedy Duck is a children’s illustrated book. This story deals with the obesity issue and it is about how Gregory eats too many fries and can’t fly home.  He has to walk home and has to overcome many obstacles, including being attacked by a fox, to get back to his family.  I have also written the sequel – Gregory and the Bully.  I have not gone any further than the writing of this story.  I also want to write books with an Australian flavour so I have an idea for an Australian alphabet book using limericks, haiku, cinquains etc.  I also have an idea for an adolescent’s book using the Toowoomba floods as the setting.  My major novel Palimpsest, which I am working on at the moment, has been inspired by the many creation mythology stories from around the world.  Basically I have a wide range of ideas.

What are you reading? At the moment I have just finished reading Drums of Autumn by Dianna Gabaldon, and have just started reading Shamans, Sorcerers and Saints by Brian Hayden. I am also reading the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon I tend to read a few books and magazines at the same time.

Who are your favourite authors and why? My favourite authors are Steig Larsson, Dan Brown, Jeffrey Archer, Wilbur Smith, Bryce Courtney and Alison Croggon.  They mostly write awesome thrillers and in the case of Steig Larsson and Dan Brown the reader has clues to unravel.  I don’t have the ability to write this way and I appreciate it when an author can write this genre well.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why? Something I can’t put down.

What do you do when you are not writing? I have recently found myself single again and returning to the workforce after being semi-retired for a short while.  I visit my many wonderful friends and have a trivia group who compete four nights a week.  I read a lot and at the moment I am considering starting on my PhD.

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Serenity McWilliams

I’m a wife, student and a dreamer.

How long have you been writing? Since I was eleven, I woke up at 5 am and typed out my first story.

What has inspired your writing? The need to create something new and exciting as well as an insatiable desire to escape reality into fantasy worlds.

Tell us about your writing process: Headphones, laptop, energy drink or iced coffee, alone in a room.

What are your books about? I am writing books on a range of genres but I am particular to faeries.

What are you reading? Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series.

Who are your favourite authors and why? Holly Black, Melissa Marr, Brent Weeks. Truly fantastic imagery.

What is your idea of the perfect book and why? I don’t have an idea of a perfect book.

What do you do when you are not writing? Studying, reading or playing games.

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Christopher Headmesser

My adventure in Australia started in 1969 arriving from England by boat and landing at Fremantle WA on a very auspicious day. We my traveling companion mate George and I was were unaware that the date we arrived April 25 was the day that marked the recognition of Australia’s armed services.  We just accepted the fact that Aussies wore their medals out and about and obviously enjoyed a drink or few it also seemed obvious that this was a land that could make or break the man. It was a free land and easy to move around, its vastness seem classless and everyone mixed and played in Australia’s own unique way. Eventually my adventures brought me to the eastern end of Australia’s no 1 highway, Cairns the tropics of far north Queensland; here I’ve been since 1976 finally in 1982 I took root in the hinterland of Cairns in a small town called Kuranda.

That’s where my life took a change of direction as I became theatrically aware. The Kuranda community was building an amphitheatre and a chance meeting with Don and Judy Freeman and David Hudson the founding members of the indigenous Tyapukai theatre company. Which led me too performing on the stage it was fun and even more fun was writing your own part. Don and Judy would give each of us our part in the plot and we, that is fellow actors would nut out our own script.
When this sort of energy is allowed flow who knows where it will go and who you get to know. Happily I met a man called Peter Mc Cabe the owner of Gecko Video Productions and together with the help of others we created a seven-minute movie for Sydney’s Trop-Fest Festival, which was in its early days then. The film was called Who Flung Dung, it didn’t win but did get high ranking.  Then another meeting with a man called Michael Quinn an amazing fellow who put the local indigenous language into the written word before it fell from the bridge of space time slippage and became lost in times abyss. It was his writings and possibly my Cockney heritage that sparked an interest in writing poetry in me. Soon we were both performing our own unique form of music and poetry at various venues. Michael eventually left to explore the world and I found myself a creative outlet by writing a rhyming short book of pleasurable nonsense and cosmic conscience where a thought Astro-naught leaves the womb of shydom to take on life’s onslaught in The Amazing Adventures of the Remarkable Charlie Particle.  The Adventure of Charlie Particle is created to put a smile on the face. In a world that has become a deliriously serious place. I like to think it’s in the tradition of Monty Python Hitch Hikers guide Spike Milligan and so on.

How long have you been writing?

I live in the tropics and due to the wet seasons I would annually find myself cut off from the rest of the world by a raging river so around 10 or more years ago I started Charlie (everyday is green in the tropics so time slips by)

What has inspired your writing?

Comedy, and to fill in the wet spots (meaning time) I gave myself a challenge and decided to write a one act play but sadly my mind had been wasted at school so I had no Idea where comas or full stops should go. (It’s seems I still have that problem)
However I decided this should not stop me and wrote and directed Charismatic Craniums a comedy in a hairdressing salon with a cast of eight, which proudly got performed publicly.

Tell us about your writing process:

I write about observations and I try to condense these observations into one-liners.
I’d string these lines together and found that these words could take me on THEIR adventure and that’s when I let imagination kick in, a little work and these words become thoughts in rhyme (well most of the time)

What are your books about?

There is a touch of twisted social comment in what I write
The world has become a delirious serious place where guns and murder have the highest
profile. Like Charlie, I believe that because we all live on around world we should all be able to bend. So my favourite subject is pleasurable nonsense, anything that may lift the spirit with a chuckle.

What are you reading?

Whatever is around (which seems to be mainly bills).

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Not being an avid reader I’d rather not say (They’re not very high brow).

What is your idea of the perfect book and why?

Something that is enjoyable and educational.

What do you do when you are not writing?

To earn a living I seasonally work as a tour guide (rainforest interpreter) driving a boat on the Barron River in Far North Queensland. Living in a rainforest environment is constant up keep, so it is good that I am a hands on person and tend to enjoy a challenge so there very little I don’t do but that doesn’t mean I do every thing well. I’m told that I’m a perfectionist but I can never get things too perfection. So I can’t see how that title fits!

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Cooper Young Headshot

Cooper Young

My name is Cooper Young, and I am thirteen years old. All my life I’ve been interested in books. When I was a toddler my Mother would buy me books and all I’d do is sit on the lounge chair and read.  Then I became interested in writing books. I’ve written so many I can’t even tell you what their names are, although, I’ve never actually finished one. I’d tell myself that I’d finish… but I never do. I just get interrupted with other new ideas. This is the only book I’ve had published.  When I grow up, I want to be a bestselling author. I want to sell book after book (if I can finish them). I hope that one day you’ll find my face on the back of many of the books at book-stores.  I am very excited for you to read my brand new book, and I hope that you’ll like the general story.

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Hamish Donaldson

Hamish Donaldson is 11 years old.  When not taking care of his chooks or writing books, he enjoys cooking brunch for his family and playing basketball. Hamish is looking forward to sharing his first book, which is based on true events, with his family and friends.

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Nicholas Holzwart Head shot

Nicholas Holzwart

Nick is a Toowoomba based author and illustrator who divides his time between creating Lego materpieces, and training to become a world champion Game Boy player. This is hopefully the first of many books to come. Nick wrote Badge and Beaver when he was ten years of age!

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Author portrait[1]

Geoffrey Foster

I was born in England, and grew up in Kent, not far from the areas where much of the action of these books takes place.

Emigrating to Australia, I worked at the University of Queensland as a lecturer, staff developer and researcher for over 30 years.

Since I retired, I have enjoyed writing this series of books.

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Julia Gannon Headshot

Julia Gannon

My name is Julia Gannon. I am 10 years old, a twin and love to play hockey. My
favourite thing to do in the afternoon is run. I also enjoy ballet. I love horses, dogs
and axolotls. I like to read and my favourite types of stories are mystery, action
and adventures. I really enjoyed writing my book. It was hard sometimes but
mostly fun. I learned a lot writing this book, most importantly that you must not
give up. If you give up nothing will go in your favour. You just need to keep trying.

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Ruby Drews Headshot

Ruby Drews

Hi I’m Ruby, I’m 12 years old I’m not
the middle child, I’m the eldest. I wrote
this book for my mum because she is
the middle child. And guess what, I’m
not allowed a mobile phone yet! I like to
dance and draw and my favourite book is
called Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever.

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Amy Pistorius Headshot

Amy Pistorius

My name is Amy, my hobbies include drawing, swimming and I absolutely love reading. Once I spent a full Saturday reading this one chapter book and I started it and finished it that Saturday! (Then I started the next one in the series, my mum had a bit of trouble getting me to bed that night!!) So as you can probably tell I am a very enthusiastic reader. That’s what inspired me to write a story, all of the amazing things someone can write and express in a story are just endless. I love unravelling the secrets of a book, I just get lost into the world of the story and it’s like a movie playing in my head.

I love chapter books to small books! And that’s why I joined the Child Writes Program.

How long have you been writing?

Well I only published my first book in the child writes program this year but before that I have wrote a few short stories.

What has inspired your writing?

Pandas,Parties,Rainbows etc.  Really everything bright and creative was what I got inspiration from!

What are your books about?

My book – The Candy Celebration- is about a panda named Lani. She got assigned to be the party co-ordinator.



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Neil McInnes Headshot

Neil McInnes

I began writing fiction after I sold my consultancy business and retired in 2006. Since then I have written five novels, three screenplays and numerous short stories.  I have a vivid imagination, a love of books and immense pleasure from creating stories that others may enjoy reading.

Usually I have an outline of the story in my mind when I commence. I break my story into three acts then begin typing, jumping from one chapter to another as the plot evolves. I know this is not a very structured method of writing a 500 page novel, but once I get started the words seem to flow.  I like to vary the genre of my work. My novels, screenplays and short stories have included satire, crime, drama, thrillers, young adult adventure and Australian historical fiction.

I’m not a big fan of non fiction, there’s enough of that in magazines, TV and the Net. I like historical fiction, fictional crime and court room dramas, and exciting thrillers.   My favourite authors are, John Grisham because of his ability to dramatise the US legal system, Stephen King because of his brilliant imagination, and Carl Hiaasen because of his satirical humour.   Jean M Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear is a wonderful adventure story that I have read many times. Her ability too bring man’s early history to life in this novel was amazing.

When I’m not writing I play golf, paint, go to the beach and read.

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Cecily Dunne Headshot

Cecily Dunne

Hi, my name is Cecily Dunne and I live in North Queensland with my husband of over fifty years. I have five grown up children, five children-in-law and eleven beautiful grandchildren.

I enjoy writing stories, mainly for children and young adults. I have had some success in entering short story competitions too. For me the best part is the enjoyment I get from creating my characters and story lines. The worst part is the slog of getting it all down onto the computer and the spelling corrections and editing that seem to take forever. Whoever said writing was ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration sure knew what he was talking about!

I have always enjoyed writing. I was too busy to do much while my children were young, but now that I’m older and have more time to myself I usually have some writing project on the go. I have had several children’s stories published in NSW School Magazine and have two unpublished book length stories that I need to get out from under the bed and work on!

I usually try to work to a plan. First comes the idea, then a vague outline of how I believe the story should develop, which I write down and then begin to work on. Of course sometimes things don’t go to plan. Sometimes one character steps out of the background and tries to hog the limelight and I have to either let him have his own way or push him back into the background with the promise to write more about him some other time. Crunch time comes when I print out the manuscript and start to edit it. I’m always surprised at how many typos and mistakes I’ve made. And then there is sometimes the terrible realisation that something doesn’t work very well and needs some drastic changes.

I love reading historical novels and enjoy reading stories by authors such as Philippa Gregory and Boris Akunin.  Isabel Allende is another favourite, and because I have always been fascinated by the possibilities of time travel I enjoy Diana Gabaldon’s books, too. I like Tim Winton and Ruth Park’s books and also enjoy many of the Young Adult novels that my grandchildren have been reading. If their books go missing, they are sometimes to be found at Granny’s! There are so many wonderful books available. So many books, so little time!

You’ve guessed it! When I’m not writing I’m mostly reading. But I also enjoy travelling, camping with our large extended family and socialising with my friends and fellow members of our local writing group, Licuala/WINQ, who are a constant source of fun and inspiration.

“Portal” is my first Young Adult novel. It is an adventure/fantasy/time travel/romance and is really the first part of what is likely to become a series. I am currently working on the next book, “Switchback”, which I hope to have finished sometime within the next six to eight months. Happy Reading!

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Coral Nichols Headshot

Coral Nichols

I’ve been writing stories ever since I was a young child but it was only after my two daughters were in high school that I began to think seriously about being published. I studied my craft attaining my Diploma in Journalism and Professional Children’s Writing and Certificates in Competition Writing and Practical Editing Techniques. I’ve entered many competitions gaining places or being short listed. In 2010 after many rejections from publishers I self published my first book of short stories for 12 – 15 year olds called Kid Courageous, I then had it turned into an e book. I have at least another eight children’s books waiting to be published and also an adult novel.

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