Born in Armidale, in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia, Lorraine Cobcroft grew up in two vastly different worlds. After her father's accidental death when she was just six weeks old, she spent twelve years growing in a close extended working-class family and tight community in a small and very class-conscious country town. Following her mother's remarriage, she spent her teen years as the step-daughter of a successful and wealthy professional in Manhattan Beach, California. There, she experienced an entirely different culture and way of life. But four years later, she was plunged unceremoniously back into her early childhood world after a traumatic experience and involvement in an astonishing legal drama. For several years, she struggled with a sense of misplacement and disconnection and confusion about her future direction. These experiences made her hungry for a deep understanding of the impact of culture, parenting styles and early experiences on character and personality.
After decades employed as a technical and business writer, Lorraine turned to fiction and creative non-fiction in retirement and is enjoying getting to know imaginary characters from diverse backgrounds and hearing their surprising stories. Joining Fairfield Writers (in Brisbane) in 2009, she began writing short stories, many of which have been published in their Anthologies. Her first novel-length work was "The Pencil Case'', a minimally fictionalised account of her husband's life after he was stolen from his family at age seven. "Mortgaged Goods" followed in 2015. Lorraine has also helped several other writers to complete and publish novels and memoirs, and she continues to write software documentation and training courses.
Lorraine loves to delve deep into her characters' psyches to discover how the deepest secrets of their past that have shaped their thinking and their values, and to watch their stories unfold as those thinking patterns determine their life choices.
Lorraine's favourite author is Jodi Picoult, and like Jodi, she favours emotive themes and strives to write stories that are powerful and provocative, featuring unforgettable characters. Her stories tend to be dark, reflecting the pains so many of us endure in real life and the character flaws that haunt us all, but always ending with hope. She strives to show the beauty and strength of the human spirit, the power of love, and the courage and determination of those who battle through significant challenges.
Lovers of misery memoirs, and stories like Oranges and Sunshine (by Margaret Humphreys), Blood Orange (by Drusilla Campbell), Graice's Secret (by Jill Childs) and What We Keep (by Elizabeth Berg) might enjoy Lorraine's novels.
She is currently working on a third novel, "Inheritances'', and a memoir, "The Change Agent".
Mortgaged Goods Book Trailer
Love cannot live where lies sleep. Buried secrets come to light at the most inconvenient times. .
The truth can breed hatred. To find peace, Nata must learn forgiveness and Karl must learn how to love.
A deeply moving tale of tragedy, survival, devotion and sacrifice that plunges the depths of human emotion.
"Powerful Stuff Wrapped in Beautiful Words ... Cobcroft explores the intense emotions of self-confidence and the fortitude of the human spirit." John J Staughton, Amazon Reviewer
by Giuseppe Leonardo Sorbello
For lovers of evocative historical fiction... 'The Bond' transports you to pre-war Poland to experience two World Wars and Hitler's domination as it was experienced by a peasant family whose members will find their way into your heart, and will live on there long after you have turned the last page.
Iron Rice Bowl
by Tom Kwok
The name Loo Shang means ''the way to get riches''. For this child of a dispossessed Chinese family, there were no riches. His life was hard. An immigrant, alone, at age 14, his life was harder. Enriched with extensive exposition of Chinese history, customs and beliefs, Iron Rice Bowl is Loo Shang's inspiring story of struggle, challenges, and eventual success as the Australian, Tom Kwok.
Angela and Her Boys
by Helga Parl
As wife of the eminent Professor Zealander and mother of his special twins, Angela thought she had it all. But his death presented surprising challenges for the young IVF scientist... and a chance meeting delivered an opportunity for an exciting new beginning.
by Lorraine Cobcroft
Love cannot live where lies sleep. Buried secrets come to light at the most inconvenient moments.
Corporate Lawyer, Natalie Dreyer (Nata), fought hard to escape her sordid past and prove herself. When she married the rich and charming Karl Albrecht, she believed she had created her perfect world. But trauma, disillusionment and betrayal forces Nata to confront her demons.
The Pencil Case
by Lorraine Cobcroft
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
A hit on the head with a pencil case began Paul Wilson's lifelong battle against the system and the pencil-pushers who tormented him. Neither wrongful incarceration nor childhood abuse and deprivation could break Paul Wilson’s indomitable spirit, but survival meant an endless battle against the system that stole him from his family and denied him his freedom and his identity.
Angel No More
on April 04, 2013
After reading M.A. McRae's incredible 'Not a Man' and 'The King's Favourite', this book was something of a surprise - a quite different story and style, though still with references to evil characters and plenty of intrigue. It was a much lighter read, and although I would have to say I prefer the depth and style of the Shuki series, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this - so much so that immediately I finished it I went on to read ''You Gotta Have Manners'', another Penwinnard story.
Marj brings her characters and settings to life superbly. I think the test of a good writer is how strongly a story affects the reader emotionally, and whether the characters continue to live in the reader's memory after the story is done. This book is certainly the work of a good writer. Highly recommended, as are all M.A.McRae's books.
You Gotta Have Manners
on April 04, 2013
As the wife of a ''welfare kid'' and author of ''The Pencil Case'', I struggled emotionally with this story, which was ''a little too close to home''. But I can attest to the accuracy of the portrayal of children in this situation - their character, behaviour, thoughts and emotions. Penwinnard was a very different place to the homes described in ''The Pencil Case'', hopefully accurately reflecting substantial improvements in society's attitude to and care of underprivileged children.
M.A. McRae has again crafted a great story, filled with characters she brings to life and compels us to feel for... laugh with, and even to cry for...characters who live on after the story is done and who, no doubt, will appear in yet another great sequel. I look forward to news of the next in the Penwinnard series.
The King's Favourite
on April 04, 2013
M.A. McRae set herself a challenge when she set out to write this continuation of Shuki's story. ''Not a Man'' was a hard act to follow, but she succeeded superbly. ''The King's Favourite'' certainly didn't disappoint.
The author took me to the middle-east, into a culture so foreign and astonishing, and introduced me to people so different from anyone I have ever known, but yet so real. The characters evoked hatred, anger, respect, love, sympathy... they made me laugh and cry. They emerged from the pages living and breathing to show me the world they lived in and help me understand their culture, their religious beliefs, and the emotions and desires that drove them.
This is yet another powerful story that will resonate with readers long after they are done reading. Yet another M.A. McRae masterpiece!
To Love and To Protect
on April 26, 2013
I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as the earlier two in the Shuki trilogy, and certainly I believe readers should read ''Not a Man'' and ''The King's Favourite" first. I found it difficult to keep track of the large number of characters, and the story was rather slow in parts. But the author's presentation of a very different culture and lifestyle fascinated me and kept me reading. M.A. McRae is an extraordinarily talented author.