Tom Conyers


Tom Conyers, an award-winning filmmaker (The Caretaker – 2012), is also a playwright, painter, illustrator and photographer.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills, Australia, on a farm of a hundred acres. There was a creek running through the property. In summer, it might be no more than a succession of pools. In winter, it could burst its banks, becoming a raging river. We had sheep whose wool we'd sell. We owned several horses. We also had dogs, cats, and three tamed Magpies that would fly down from their trees in the morning. Although much of the land was cleared, one whole hill was still covered in native forest. There were ruins and relics leftover from the settler days: a stone house, an old pump, the remains of a rock bridge, and traces of roads. The Aboriginal name for the place was Murrumboola, which means 'waterhole of snakes'. Indeed, there were a great many snakes. During summer, every time you went for a walk, you could almost be guaranteed to see one.

Strangely, I was not frightened of them. But every three months, I'd dream I was going for a walk and I'd see a snake and quickly step onto a rock. I'd then see another snake under the rock, and so jump to a different rock. Before I knew it, there were snakes everywhere, like the Egyptian tomb in Raiders of the Lost Ark. So although outwardly I didn't show much fear, all those snake encounters must have had a cumulative build-up in my mind, manifesting my fear in the form of these quarterly nightmares. I do love snakes, though, but they need to be left alone. For me, growing up on a farm meant at an early age I had to get good at creating my own entertainment, my own games, my own world. Writing novels is really just the logical development of those formative years.

I still dream about that farm and would one day dearly love to live in the country again.
When did you first start writing?
I've always written. I still have stories I wrote when I was a kid. But I didn't think of myself as a writer till much later, in my twenties. Oddly, in school, I jotted down a lot of notes and poems and stories with the idea that I could one day hand them to an author to develop. I've always created lots of art as well, and most people at the time viewed my art as my calling, which is perhaps why it took me a while to accept that the writing side to me had equal validity. Even once I accepted I was a writer, for a long time I thought I'd only write one play, one novel, etc. But even as I wrote my first play and novel ('Morse Code for Cats'), I was working on others. For a long time now I haven't asked myself whether I'm a writer or not. I just find myself writing all the time, which I guess is as clear an answer as any.
Read more of this interview.


Prey: Seven Tales of Beastly Terror
Price: Free! Words: 71,760. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
A longhorn rancher gets more than he bargained for... A mythical bird becomes all too real... The ghost of a cat enacts a nasty revenge... And a bear becomes a weapon just as dangerous to its wielder... From cats, to dogs, to longhorns, rats and bears, Prey explores the frightening ways nature could easily turn on us...if we provoke it.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,050. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand
(4.00 from 1 review)
Australia, 1975. Daydreamer, Jack, cycles to school each morning in the dull country town of Miller’s Creek, wishing he had a like-minded friend. When Mel and her mother move in next door, it is as if his prayers have been answered. But as Jack and Mel become inseparable, forces conspire to tear them apart and shake up the sleepy town forever. Playful ... magical ... moving.
One Shot
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 61,440. Language: Australian English. Published: June 18, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Rex has always felt the world would be better off without humans. So when a virus, designed to make pests develop an insatiable appetite for their own kind, instead affects humans, it is as though his wish has come horribly true. With his dog, Soldier, he wanders a devastated landscape armed with a gun and only one bullet. Should he turn it on himself or has he, and humanity, got one more shot?
Forever Human
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 77,290. Language: Australian English. Published: October 1, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Mashups, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Spanning some 3,000 years, Forever Human charts the course of two people who recall their past lives: Cassius, who would help the rest of us remember, and Memphis, who prefers that we forget. Can Cassius break the historical cycle of error, or will Memphis thwart his efforts, thus ensuring our species remains forever bloodthirsty … forever lovelorn … forever human?
Morse Code for Cats
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 92,990. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » LGBTQ+ » General
Coming of age … coming out. When Sam exchanges the country for the city on the eve of a new millennium, a wonderful world of possibility opens up: sex ... drugs ... sport. But when that world collapses, Sam must re-examine his every decision to finally become 'good at life.' Contemporary ... insightful ... raw ... Morse Code for Cats is funny at times and at times intensely moving.