Patrick McGowan


I've been writing pretty much full time for ten years- after I completed a Master of Creative Arts (Prose) at the University of Wollongong. Previously I worked as metallurgist, health food retailer, government bureaucrat, diplomat and entrepreneur.

While my work overseas for the Australian government took me on postings to many places including Europe, Asia and Africa, I like to write about the contemporary Australian experience. I began writing fiction in the nineties, had some short stories published, then put my writing on hold to give full attention to my career.

I'm a taiji enthusiast, avid jade collector, and a keen follower of William Gass and his theory of sentences, that each sentence has a soul, and that all good literature comes from the well-constructed sentence.

I live in near the Royal National Park, south of Sydney.

Where to find Patrick McGowan online


Canberra, Ho!
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 30,130. Language: Australian English. Published: April 12, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Seven flustered bushwalkers, trekking overland from Katoomba to Canberra, leaderless and lost, seven different people united by the one wish to make it back home…alive. Also perhaps a handbook on the Australian art of politics, how we lead and manage and sometimes follow. If this story became a movie, it could become that movie which screens on the eve of every national election!
Canaries in the Sunshine
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 13,440. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2021 . Categories: Poetry » Themes & motifs » Nature
Here's a chronicle in verse (mostly sonnets) of forgotten inventors/researchers of free energy devices & related energy subjects. It's not for the hard core believers who eat and breathe the free energy dream, but for the newcomer to this fascinating area of human endeavor. The author is a sonnetist, not a scientist, who finds a musicality even in the names of the inventors and their inventions.
Pick Up the Pearl
You set the price! Words: 9,360. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2016 . Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Poetry » Themes & motifs » Nature
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Pick up the Pearl is a collection of martial arts poems written by a long term tai chi enthusiast. The forms of the poems range from free verse to sestina, from ottava rima to ballad. The work examines many aspects of martial arts and their exponents, including tai chi, karate, boxing, street fighting, kung fu, ai ki do, judo and ba gua chan.
Ride a White Mare
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 68,380. Language: Australian English. Published: April 13, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
This is an Australian outback road adventure about a quest for what the experts declare to be impossible: finding white jade in Australia. Failed journalist, Marco Gentolini, and his offbeat offsider, Tom Owen, hear whisperings of a white jade mine somewhere in northern New South Wales that they simply have to track down. It's not easy but they refuse to give up.
Jade Is My Stone
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 75,400. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Jade is a mysterious stone, by weight, often worth far more than gold. But if you were to go out and buy jade would you know if it was genuine or fake? In this novel, Shipton Kingsgate becomes obsessed with jade and embarks on a quest to have and to hold his own prize piece of this stone! At every turn, he must navigate the perils of true versus false, even with those nearest to him.
Mostly Friday Nights
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 41,780. Language: Australian English. Published: December 31, 2013 . Categories: Poetry » Australian & Oceanian
What happened on Friday nights in the Sydney suburbs in the seventies? Read these stories about Campbell and his mates from Campbelltown, told in the style of The Adventures of Don Juan though with not so many heroes. 'Was one Friday night, talk about hairy: Campbell and I had trekked out to Appin, scored an invite to a birthday party, by chance after meeting our mad mate, Stefan...'
Splitting Apart
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 80,810. Language: Australian English. Published: November 13, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
The year is 2019 and the 83 regions of the Russian Federation are splitting apart. A team of six in a Canberra office have been asked to provide an urgent report on the issue for their Minister. As they strive to meet their deadline, the story of an office itself fracturing into pieces, as personal histories surface, unfolds to echo the crisis they are being asked to report on.
The Shades of Paracelsus
Price: $7.95 USD. Words: 73,680. Language: Australian English. Published: October 27, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
A young adult drama set in Wollongong, Australia, this novel is about how the innocence and optimism of youth can be treated so shoddily, so contemptuously by the darker forces which sometimes drive big business today. Can winning ever only be about holding back the inevitable? This is a question both the good and the bad may like to ask themselves in their quieter moments.

Smashwords book reviews by Patrick McGowan

  • Religion Sex Violence on Dec. 28, 2015
    (no rating)
    As a fictive dream, it’s well-crafted, it’s crafty, it’s crisp, it’s well-paced, it’s fine language, it’s Irish, it’s Sydney, it’s international, it’s contemporary, it’s graphic (rsv), it’s a page turner, it’s rich in detail, and its title is apt. good one
  • Interpretations on Jan. 03, 2017

    When discussing imagism, I always go back to Pound, an original member of the Imagist movement. He once commented that poets before him used images as ornaments whereas, for the Imagists, he claimed ‘the image is itself the speech. The image is the word beyond formulated language.’ This chapbook, Interpretations, is written by one fluent in the language of image. G D Master’s attention to sensory detail and avoidance of the abstractions and confidences of confessional poetry is refreshing. This Hopperesque project, which renders objects and moments drawn from photographs found in journals, takes us on a pleasant and satisfying journey through modern life with the irony that, as Master admits through his choice of title, despite the images speaking for themselves, the poems become interpretations of life, I suppose much in the hermeneutic tradition that all history is the interpretation of history. I can appreciate the image experiment in the different poetic forms, probably mostly in the sonnets, which come across as cleanest and sharpest. It could be that this form demands a closer editing. Though I also like the airiness of his free verse.
  • Religion Sex Violence on Jan. 02, 2018

    Hey, Patrick, here's your target audience!