Sebastian Hales


Sebastian Hales lives at Waikawa Beach on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. He has a background of secondary teaching, teacher training, policy management and negotiation.
Sebastian has qualifications in English, education and educational administration, as well as secondary teaching, drama teaching, and social work. For ten years Sebastian was policy and programmes manager for the NZ Institute of Management, during which time he managed the development and approval of more than twenty qualifications, and contributed to many government and professional advisory bodies.
An eclectic scribbler, Sebastian has extensive writing experience including a school musical, several private books of poetry and reminiscences, articles on education, business, art and social issues, as well as course materials and policy documents.
He is active in writing groups, civil liberties, transition towns and conservation movements, and his declamatory words are often heard at poetry readings.

Smashwords Interview

How did you start writing I Play the Mermaid Song?
It was a strange time for me. I was teaching, and used to walk to and from school through a lovely hillside park. And my brain would invent scenes and characters as I walked. Then each evening I would just sit down and write – about 700-800 words. These bits would not be connected up – some would be about my life, some would be pure fantasy. In the end I had about 30,000 words written, with no plot or theme to tie them together.
The synopsis of your book stated that it was a novel and an autobiography. Is it really the story of your life?
It is a novel, written as though it were an autobiography. Some of the scenes and events are taken from my life, while others are completely made up. It is hard to tell which is which. For instance all the restaurant scenes are fantasy, while Richard's school was pretty similar to the one I went to. Many are a mixture between memory and story. My sister got cross when she read some of it – she told me I had got it wrong, and it was not really like I described it. Of course it wasn't the same. She just picked up on some familiar elements
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Sebastian Hales online

Where to buy in print


I Play the Mermaid Song
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 92,360. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: July 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
Compulsive cross-dresser Richard has grown alienated from the conventional society of New Zealand. He has lived between two worlds – his public face of Richard the violinist, and his inner heart of Nora. He must peel off his past and his disguises, the patchwork of deceits and shadows that he has built up. But when he unpicks the threads of convention, music, and fantasy, what will be left?

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