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Born in England, I moved to Adelaide, South Australia, as a teenager. Upon leaving school I worked for an engineering firm where I did a variety of courses including wood machining, fitting and turning and welding. I married in Adelaide and have one daughter. A few years later I changed direction in my work life and studied to become a primary school teacher, graduating, then moving over 3,000 km to Townsville, north Queensland. While still teaching at a private school I studied to obtain my Bachelor of Education degree at James Cook University. Later I obtained a Diploma in Science Teaching and taught Maths and Science in a government high school. I then moved to acreage near Gympie, southeast Queensland, and taught first in a small primary school then a larger one.
During my time as a teacher I have taught all grades from Transition to Year 10. I have been seconded a number of times to fill positions of remedial teaching and advising teachers and principals in small schools about discipline strategies and classroom procedure. I also ran a behavior management classroom for recalcitrant students.
I retired early from full time teaching and moved to Darwin, Northern Territory, where I continued my involvement with schools through relief teaching. From Darwin, after renovating my house, I moved back to Townsville where my writing career began.
Writing Course and Publications History:
I have diploma from a children’s writing course through the Australian College of Journalism. From this connection I submitted manuscripts to Barry Publishing which led to a contract in 2000 from Macmillan Education for two titles, A Dog’s Life, Chaos and Trains for their reading scheme (Momentum Series 6). Unfortunately these two titles do not have barcodes on them so are only available in schools and libraries.
Since then I have written five books, Stacked It, Stunk It, Showed It, Stashed It and Snuffed It. The first four books are about a boy who, after an accident and long stay in hospital, teams up with his teacher to become published writers. During his hospital stay the main character reads stories that his teacher has written. These stories are stand-alone or short stories. The series covers their misadventures in both humorous and poignant ways. The short stories offer a variety of genres including mystery, science fiction and humor. The first four books in the series are in a format which combines short stories with the overlying main story. The fifth and final book, Snuffed It, is a full chapter book, a stand-alone work. All five books cover reading ages from 9 to 15 year olds. These books are in the process of being published.
My time as a teacher has allowed me to live in a variety of states and territories, both in cities and in regional areas which has really helped provide me with ideas. Being a relief teacher I am in the enviable position of being able to read my work to a wide range of classes and in the last few years I have been constantly asked by students where they can buy copies of the “books” I have been reading to them. Lately, probably because of Christmas, I have been approached by a large number of parents also wanting to know where they can buy the “books” their children have been talking about at home. My daughter (a full-time teacher of 10 to 11 year olds) is able to read my manuscripts to her class and also gets the same response as myself from her students and parents.
I have completed the series I wanted to do and am preparing them for publishing in Smashwords. However, students keep asking me to write more using their favorite characters. With this in mind I enlarged the Todd Sweeney story in Book 4 from 3 601 words to 22 711 words and titled the manuscript Dudley and Dink – Vampire Slayers Extraordinaire. My daughter and another teacher of 11 to 13 year olds have read it to their classes and it was very well received.
During the Christmas break I wrote a Christmas poem for older primary students. It is about a boil on Santa’s bum and how the elves try to cure it. I had the opportunity to read the poem to two groups of students: one group of 50 10 to 11 year olds and another group of 60 eight to 10 year olds. They all enjoyed it and so did their teachers.
I hope to keep writing as long as I enjoy it and continue to come up with ideas.