Interview with Doug Fenwick

What has been your upbringing and working life?
Lower socio-economic inner suburban working class in Melbourne. All locals were renters and worked at factories in the adjacent back streets. For pocket money, I sold morning and afternoon newspapers from aged 10, worked in a corner grocery shop; later part time in a chemical factory, picked berries, worked on farms, worked often in a flour factory, went timber cutting. Took on Veterinary Science studies at University because it had a living allowance scholarship. Spent 18 months as a Government Veterinary Officer, 25 years in Country Practice, 16 years at the University of Queensland. After 65-year-old compulsory retirement purchased and worked at Office Chair manufacturing business for 11 years.
When did you first start writing?
I had been scribbling ideas and reviewing masses of literature on the similarities between the motivation and behaviour of humans and other animals for 50 years before I seriously began to type a manuscript which I self-published in 2008 under the title of "Animal, Brains and Cultures". It is a serious book with reviews shown at the end of "Cure It or Shoot It". As one reviewer concluded "This original work presents a paradigm for understanding human and animal behaviour in a clear-cut manner that has never before been so compelling nor relevant to the modern world.
An essential read for all of us on this planet – young adults, parents, lovers, workers and decision-makers!”
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Cure It or Shoot it" was written as a narrative of life as a country veterinarian in the era ranging from 1955 to 1980. I was editing a book for a fellow retired veterinarian and kept having flashbacks of those 25 years. It prompted me to put pen to paper. This is my first eBook.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I find that I can read long articles and dissertations quite readily off a computer screen, and judging by the success of eBooks, and the fact that Smashwords allows me to do this myself, I thought I would have a 'go' at converting a printed form to an eBook because of the wide distribution. Till now, I've only made the printed form available to family and people living in the area in which I used to practice.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm a bit of a fitness crank. I walk each morning and spend three hours at the gym every Saturday morning if possible. I virtually lost the use of my feet and ankles from advanced misdiagnosed peripheral atherosclerosis and could not walk more that 100 metres without crutches in 2013/2014. I was wheelchair bound till I researched the literature myself and discovered a treatment that reversed my condition. I now look forward each day to improving my walking distances and my gym performances. I may publish an evidence-based dissertation in layman language on my story after this.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I always look for some form of physical activity -- digging trenches, putting up fences and such, the more hands-on the better. After retiring from Office Chair Manufacturing at age 76, I spent some years repairing everything that needed doing around the house. From 2011 I spent two to four days a week for five years helping out a friend whose house and entire home business went under in the 2011 floods. I diagnosed and fixed broken down box air conditioners and water coolers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
When I was 11 years old, the only book in our house was a type a large tome that contained home remedies and advice on general health. That was the year I went to a second-hand shop and purchased the G-to-H section of a set of encyclopaedias. It cost me two shillings, which was about one twentieth of the average weekly adult wage. I lacquered it and placed on a board on bricks as a bookcase. I read all about Hannibal and even gave a talk at school on his epic attack on Rome using elephants.
How do you approach cover design?
For "Cure It or Shoot It", I decided to keep things very simple. I hired Simon Galway in England. I asked him to do a simple caricature design of a vet doing a rectal examination of a cow while holding a rifle. For a fee of $90AU, he said he would repeat it till it was to my satisfaction. He was excellent. Apart from that graphic the rest of the info on a cover is fairly standard.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite authors at different times of my life have been RM Ballantyne, Aldous Huxley, James Michener and Tom Fowles.
Describe your desk
My desk is a cluttered mess of papers, books, gadgets such as a recorder, an electric razor, asthma puffers, USBs, DVDs, calculators, a fan, a carbon dioxide metre/temperature gauge/humidity gauge combo as well the computer and keyboard and a jar of pens, felt pens, letter openers, electrical side-cutters and things.
Published 2018-02-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Vitamin K or a Wheelchair: Your Choice
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 27,740. Language: Australian English. Published: July 28, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Vitamins
This is a dissertation based on evidence, of the importance of vitamin K as a preventative and treatment for many ailments, particularly the degenerative diseases. It describes the case history of the elderly author in detail, of how he was heading for a wheelchair, but experienced a regression of a number of medical conditions after taking vitamin K supplements.
Cure It or Shoot It
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 92,210. Language: Australian English. Published: February 20, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Medicine
Here is a real-life cameo of the life of an initially-naive country veterinarian from 1955 to 1980. It gives factual descriptions of the medical and surgical challenges experienced in a job with irregular hours and which was frequently hard, frequently dirty, often difficult and often dangerous. Read about a bygone era when there was limited knowledge, limited help and no specialist back-ups.