Interview with Derek Mortimer

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating characters and being with them as they grow.
What are you working on next?
A series of short stories.
Who are your favorite authors?
It is like asking, how long is a piece of string? There are so many; Richard Flanagan, Tim Winton, David Malouf, Hemingway, Sebastian Barry, Coetzee, Bernard MacLaverty, Cormac McCarthy, Gary Disher, Robert Swindells and many more.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, movies, ocean swimming, walking, hanging out with family and friends, and I love to travel. One of my most recent trips was along the Silk Roads of Central Asia; Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, countries with vast snow-capped peaks, arid plains, and an amazing mix of cultures, people who over the centuries have move back and forth across a vast land mass in wars and migration.
Where were you born and where do you live?
I live in Sydney, Australia, but I grew up in Bradford, Yorkshire, the then, industrial north of England, a place of mills, mines and muck.
However, beyond the cities were sweeping moors that seemed to go on forever, an exciting landscape for a boy to explore. Which is probably why when I moved to Australia I fell in love with the great open spaces of the Snowy Mountains – and the sea, for ocean swimming is also a journey across space.
I’m lucky in the sense that I am at home in two countries; in one I am an immigrant, in the other an emigrant. Some of my stories reflect this duality, the immigrant’s life, and the days of childhood in another country. I have an Australian wife, two daughters who were born in England but grew up in Australia, two Australian-born granddaughters, and countless members of an extended family on both sides of the world.
What are the things you love to write about?
Probably because I travel a lot and live in a country where about a quarter of us were born elsewhere, I am fascinated by the movement of people as they seek a better life, or flee persecution as refugees. I want to tell their stories, and the stories of those who are receiving them, or rejecting them. I am also fascinated by childrens' views of the world, and trying to capture that.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a school essay, and us class of boys were asked to write on: A Walk in the Country After Rain Has Fallen. A bit of a mouthful, and rather romantic for a gang of scruffy kids living in an industrial north of England city. There were times after leaving school when I wrote to satisfy come creative need but with no intention of trying to get published. Then there were many years when I wrote nothing.
Published 2014-10-28.
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Books by This Author

Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 33,820. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Meridian is about time. Time, the past. Time, the present. Time, the future. A woman sits in a cafe which has a clock with one hand and reflects how she tried to cheat time. Elderly brothers meet after decades of separation and talk of what they won, what they lost. Two boys test each others’ courage as they stand by a flickering fire in the dark waiting for the Devil.
A Seagull Stole My Bellybutton
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 1,820. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays
Leanne is a girl who refuses to give up. When a seagull steals her bellybutton while she is playing on the beach one warm summers day she chases after it. What would you do if it happened to you? The same? You need a bellybutton for a lot or reasons. Best get it back eh?
On the Run
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 49,910. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
On the Run is set in Sydney and the Australian outback. It is as up to the moment as todays news. A story of love, loyalty, betrayal, and flight from injustice. Set against the background of potential terrorism Lexie Love is forced to face up to the challenge of loyalty to her friend Hakim Masud, as they flee the city, into a country hideout, pursued by police and a hostile media.