Meet The Writer

An interview in Pass It On. 3rd October 2016, Issue 604.

When did you know that you were a writer?

Probably when I was thirteen and I couldn’t stop writing poetic verse. Every spare moment I was thinking of rhyme and that this seemed like my reason for being alive. This constant, seemingly endless search took over me and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

When did you first read your writing aloud or give it to someone to read and what was their reaction? How did it impact on you?

I’m pretty sure some of my first poetic verse pieces were read aloud to my parents. They didn’t particularly enjoy them as they were a bit deep and dark for what they were expecting. Over the next ten years I did lighten up a lot from my early works. My verses developed and became a lot more positive as I got older. It has been nice to transition into fantasy adventure novel and now, more recently children’s picture books with ‘Roses are NOT Red’ which should be released in November this year.

What and when was your first acceptance? How did you feel?

I submitted works to Athena Press in the UK. This resulted in the publication of ‘Songs Without Sound’ in 2004. Although it did cost a lot to produce I felt very proud to have achieved one of my goals.

What is your favourite genre to write? Why?

Hmm, good question. I really enjoy writing poetic verse however I LOVE writing children’s books. This upcoming release of ‘Roses are NOT Red’ has been my most enjoyable writing experience thus far. It has also been amazing to work with such a good friend, Joanna Cuskelly who has brought the illustrations to light. 

How long have you been writing? And what have you written?

Almost twenty-five years writing now. I have had two books published ‘Songs Without Sound’, and ‘Songs Without Sound II: Behind the Silence’ an e-book ‘The Battle of Chi’ and now a soon to be released children’s picture book, ‘Roses are NOT Red’ through Little Steps Publishing. I also have at least another five children’s books that I am currently working on and just require some finishing touches. 

Of your own work – do you have a favourite? Why is it your favourite?

‘Roses are NOT Red’ is definitely my favourite completed work as I have been advised that the audience for this book is ageless. To be able to put a strong message/moral, into a children’s book is something that I am especially proud of. In this day and age children need to be able to follow a different path and encouraged to follow their dreams, not to be told there is only one way. 

What is your favourite genre to read? Why?

Um, to be honest I am a slack reader, but I try to make time as much as I can. I loved reading the Game of Thrones series, and I am currently loving reading Walden. Philosophical and uplifting books are most interesting to me, and children’s books that are clever and preferably moralistic.

Do you have a favourite author?

Roald Dahl was probably my favourite for a long time. Authors such as Paul Jennings and Dr Seuss were also favourites. ‘Pete the Cat’ by Eric Litwin is one of the best children’s books I’ve read for a long time. 

Did/do you have any writing heroes or mentors?

Hmm, that is a tough question. Not really, as I probably haven’t followed many authors paths so closely, but I learnt an invaluable lesson from Paul Jennings at the Bryon Bay Writers Festival about never giving up. I am inspired by close friends in the creative arts such as Sarah Hickey and dearly departed angels like Eila McLean. I also get great inspiration from musicians like Paul Dempsey and Xavier Rudd. 

Do you mentor others? What do you do?

I try to mentor or guide others as much as I can, particularly friends and colleagues. I currently work in disability employment services and have worked in recruitment, so I try to help clients to find the right job for them. I also regularly blog on social media and put poetic verse at least weekly on there to inspire and try to help others follow their dreams. 

Do you write full time?

Sadly, no… not yet, but inshallah, one day, that day will come.

What are your other jobs?

I’ve had plenty, but I now work four days a week in disability employment services and one day as daddy daycare. 

Have you ever won an award/s or been shortlisted? What was it for?

No, although I haven’t been as active in competitions as I probably should have been.

Do you belong to any professional organisations? What are they and how do they help you? 

I am currently a member of the North Coast Writers Centre, however I have not utilised the centre often, however I will be promoting Roses are NOT Red through their editorial. In 2016 I volunteered for the Byron Writers Festival and it was nice to mix with some of the amazing talent, who are involved with this event.

How might you be contacted in relation to running workshops or for school visits?

My contact details are on my website

We all know that would be writers should read and write as much as possible – do you have any other advice?

Never give up. Ever! If you’re a writer you will never stop writing. Whether you’re actually making money from it or not, If your heart is in it, you won’t be able to escape it anyway so just let it flow.  

How might people find you? Website, Blog, Facebook etc.

You can keep up to date with all my works/blogs etc. via my website