David McRobbie was born in Glasgow in 1934. After an apprenticeship he joined the Merchant Navy as a marine engineer and sailed the world, or some of it. Eventually he worked his passage to Australia, got married and settled down for a bit only to move to Papua New Guinea where he trained as a teacher.
Subsequently he found work as a college lecturer, then a researcher for parliament. Back in Australia in 1974 he joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a producer of radio and television programs for young people.
In 1990 he gave up this work to become a full time writer for children and young adults. He has written over thirty paperbacks, mainly novels, but some are collections of short stories, plays and ‘how-to’ books on creative writing.
Three of his novels were adapted for television, with David writing all of the sixty-five scripts — the first being The Wayne Manifesto in 1996, followed by Eugénie Sandler, PI then Fergus McPhail. These shows were broadcast throughout the world, including Australia and Britain on BBC and ITV.
The BBC adapted another of David’s novels for television — See How They Run, which became the first BBC/ABC co-production.
At the age of 79, David is still at work. His most recent paperback novels are Vinnie’s War, (Allen & Unwin) published in 2011, about childhood evacuation in the second world war. This was followed by To Brave The Seas, in 2013, a story about a 14-year-old boy who sails in Atlantic convoys during WW2. Both books are available online.
Where to buy in print
Roads To Writing 2. Finding Story Ideas
Roads To Writing 2 looks at the important business of finding ideas for stories — and what to do with them. Part One deals with ideas in general, Part Two shows a method of workshopping while Part Three discusses the role of planning for stories. The final part is a workshop where David McRobbie examines two of his successful stories and shows where the ideas came from and how they developed.
Roads to Writing 1. Making Your Characters Speak
Roads To Writing is the first book in a proposed series on creative writing. This one deals with handling dialogue, which for some is a tricky business. But it needn’t be. The rules are quite simple and with these wise words and examples to guide your fingers, you’ll soon know all about inverted commas, the ‘he said - she said’ bit and how to make better use of dialogue in your writing.
Ten Things You Didn't Know About Ghosts
Beatrice McMullin, a 12-year-old orphan meets a ghost sister and brother who need her help. Before becoming ghosts, the girl and boy were given an important task to perform. It’s a well-known fact that ghosts are ghosts because they still have business with the living. Beatrice agrees to help, then finds herself caught up in a crazy hunt for some royal regalia, with just a bit of comedy thrown in.
Shaun is no ordinary teenage boy, in fact he’s not a boy at all. Shaun is a robot, otherwise known as Robo-dude, a domestic helper around the house. He has been bought by mother and daughter, Sandra and Chloe Wilson to bring some order into their busy lives. But things don’t run smoothly after all and it falls to Shaun to bring matters to a head.
In Prior's Pocket
Teenager Bill Fields uncovers a well made 1927 vintage model house, which is identical to the one he lives in. A family of tiny figures occupy the model house and so absorbed does Bill become with them, he soon finds himself in the house with them.
And they have a mystery — so turn to Bill for help.
Two shipwreck survivors, a seventeen-year-old girl and a young seaman, shelter in a cave to wait out the storm. They find warmth, security and love. When they leave the cave something evil is left behind.
A hundred years later, another young couple uncover the place where the lovers found sanctuary. But some things are best left undisturbed. Here are four of them.
Somebody turned on the art room ceiling fans to their highest position and their wind ruined a beautiful work of art. Charlie Thomson gets the blame, so he sets out to clear his name in this mystery yarn which has a crime, suspects, a detective and clues. And this story, like all good mystery yarns, also has a denouement — the bit at the end where the detective unmasks the real culprit.
Livy, the She of this story, challenges Rob to a dare. He reluctantly undertakes the challenge then finds the object of the dare is far from innocent. In fact it's part of a criminal conspiracy — and there are people keen to recover their property. She is a fast paced thriller with a hint of comedy.
Falling Up Stairs
The teenage years are like Falling Up Stairs — quite painful but you eventually reach the top. Here are two stories about boys who are in the middle of their hurtful journeys. Matthew just wants to win the girl of his dreams — but the dreams intrude into his realities. Geoffrey, in the second story, just wants a well-ordered life — hard to do when he finds himself caught up in a bank robbery.
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