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For the last few years I have lived on Phillip Island in Western Port, on Australia's south coast where the south-westerlies blow off icebergs, which I know are just over the horizon. After living in semi tropical Queensland for years I almost died of the cold when I first unpacked. I don't fish - I don't play golf - don't play with boats so life is at a steady, controlled pace.
My first attempt at fiction was when I was quite young - I still have the typewritten manuscript. I have kept it only because it was so dreadful. Another phase later on was writing for a Sydney novella publisher, ghosting for popular author Carter Brown. After two or three stories they mailed down cover illustrations, which were there to inspire the next story. Soon after that I got a real job with a technical magazine publisher and when they were swallowed by a Canadian conglomerate, I did a stint in the PR industry then it was on to an industrial advertising agency.
Disillusioned, I packed up the family from Melbourne for a rural tree-change life in the North East but when I discovered that running sheep on five acres wasn't a goer, I joined the regional daily newspaper to report magistrates court and local government.
Skipping over the years in central Queensland doing the same, we - me and my wife - no, my wife and I settle on Phillip Island and I got stuck into researching family life in the 1860s, so the next logical step was historic mystery fiction. The logic of that I am not really sure. But I did find out that some of the characters I meet in these writings I quite like, although there are a few who disappoint me. Only once did I meet the charming Jasmine Ching, in Charlie Che's home; she was his sister-in-law and a most successful international Chinese trader and when she suggested I might call on her at sundowner hour the following day, to be honest I was tempted.
As for my historic novels, they never seem to be planned that well and often I don't know who dunnit until one of the characters points it out to me.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love to hear from you.
on Oct. 17, 2012 :
Derek is a fabulous author. I have been reading his copy for 30 years.
He is always good
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Aug. 28, 2012 :
Asolutely loved this exceptionally well writen informative story which contains factual & historically acuate info about early Melbourne life, I would recommend it to all detactive buffs.
(reviewed long after purchase)