I’m a Queensland-based writer who calls my birth-town of Melbourne home despite living most of my life in Sydney.
My first book, House of the Rising Suns – a from-the-outer account of AFL’s brave new expansionist world set against the backdrop of the Gold Coast Suns’ inaugural AFL season – has been published by Random House Australia and hit the shelves earlier this year.
A second book is all but done. I’m about to start another.
I’m a regular contributor to the The Footy Almanac, footy talk generally and will sometimes heard broadcasting the occasional vacated shift on 91.7 ABC Coast FM or my regular Sport’n’Rock segment on Rabbit Radio.
I’ve taken to tweeting in the way St Kilda Football Club takes to breaking hearts.
Like many who’ve found the keyboard late, I spent too many formative days as a lawyer. Bad backs and unfortunate workplace accidents, mostly. That and Friday lunches paid for by a cluster of red-nosed barristers who no longer practice on account of their unwillingness to pay tax. Despite clinging to a faint hope the legal thing would one day somehow click, I was never really particularly good at it. In truth I was a disinterested dud. Looking back I’m amazed I fooled so many people for so long. I made some good friends, though.
Eight years ago, on the eve of my wedding, my bride-to-be, Samantha, finally tired of my lawyerly belly-aching.
“You’re becoming dull,” she spat. “If you reckon you can write then hang your bloody shingle out and see what happens.”
So out my shingle I hung.
My first paid gig was a review of the Neil Young’s Greendale concert at the Myer Music Bowl for Rhythms Magazine. I earned fifty bucks. The concert ticket cost three times that. Welcome to Lesson #1 of writing for a living.
To help subsidise penning stuff I was interested in, I had to type a whole stack of dull hoo haa. I lied about being an advertising copywriter. My bullshitting landed me jobs filling advertorial space for fire-door installation services as I otherwise described the benefits of various bits of plumbing paraphernalia. I scribbled media releases for whoever would pay. I scrawled brochures for recruitment companies. I tapped out annual reports for corporate high fliers. I helped engineers write their tenders and proposals. I compiled parliamentary reports for statutory authorities. I even accepted a cash payment to write a bloke’s Masters’ degree company and law assignments. Got him a pair of high distinctions too. Never managed more than a single distinction as a student myself. That was for a subject called ‘Practice and Procedure’. You were allowed to take the text book in to the exam.
Now none of this added up to The Great Australian Novel, of course. But it was still writing. And unlike most writers, I was earning a quid (of sorts).
Still, a creative fire burned within…
My first attempt at fiction – a tangled multi-narrative called Laneway set in and around an inner-city housing commission block – landed me a spot at the highly regarded Northern Rivers Writers Centre’s Residential Mentorship.
The manuscript was at the time (and maybe still is) the only unanimous selection in the Mentorship’s history they told me.
And so, I was away.
I now live and work in the Gold Coast’s southern hinterland. When not writing full-time, I work as a freelance broadcaster. Sometimes I do a little media advising under the scribefreelance moniker. I also (sporadically) study English Literature at Southern Cross University, pray regularly that St Kilda will some day win a flag (one will do), play fuzzed up guitar in a garage blues duo called The Stouts (we’re actually getting quite good), I surf when I can, and plant native trees in our backyard when time allows. I’m still married to Samantha. Very happily too. We have two beautiful daughters, Daisy and Peggy, and a surprisingly spritely eleven year old spoodle called Ed.
Life is pretty good.