Is self-publishing really an insult to the written word?Who is Laurie Gough?A random post on my Facebook feed caught my eye today. A fellow author posted about an op-ed piece in The Huffington Post by someone called Laurie Gough. I should say up front that I have no idea who Laurie Gough is but I’m […]

Murray Valley Holiday – Day 7 (last day)

Day 7 – Last full day – museums and mealsThursday 8th December 2016Today is the last full day of this holiday. It’s a surreal feeling. It’s that moment between still wanting to enjoy being on holiday but at the same time slowly thinking of resuming normal life and all that entails. When I spend some […]

Murray Valley Holiday – Day 6

Day 6 – Exploring Lake MalwalaWednesday 7th December 2016In a rather uncharacteristic turn of events this morning, I found myself actually getting up before Sandy. It happens. It’s rare, but it does happen. Today being one such occasion, I thought I’d take the kids out for breakfast and let Sandy enjoy a lie in. So, […]

Murray Valley Holiday – Day 5

Day 5 – Fishing and releasing balloonsTuesday 6th December 2016I’m becoming progressively more rested at the start of each new day. I was, however, woken up this morning somewhat prematurely. Sandy came into the bedroom (she’s always up early with the kids) to wake me up and remind me that we signed up for the […]

Murray Valley Holiday – Day 4

Day 4 – the relaxation of fishingMonday 5th December 2016Now that we’re a few days into the holiday, I can feel my internal body clock slowly reverting to its natural state. This is something I’ve observed before – especially whilst we were on our round the world backpacking tour some 12 years ago. It’s an […]

Murray Valley Holiday – Day 3

Day 3 – more nothingSunday 4th December 2016Ah, the relaxation just keeps on coming here on our third day in Yarrawonga. With yet another slow start to the day (a definite pattern is emerging here), we all just kicked back and let the day unfold. The sun was out in force again this morning and […]

Murray Valley Holiday – Day 2

Day 2 – lounging around the poolSaturday 3rd December 2016One of the things I have decided will happen on this holiday is that I will treat it like, well, a real holiday…and…just…relax. That sounds pretty obvious perhaps but the truth is that we rarely spend much time actually relaxing whenever we’re on holiday. We’re typically […]

Murray Valley Holiday – Day 1

Day 1 – getting thereFriday 2nd December 2016In times past, any holiday or journey away from home would have been meticulously planned to the nth degree. The route would have been scrutinised and the list of things taken checked and re-checked days prior to departure. Nothing would have been left to chance. As life with […]

99c box set

The 99c box set phenomonenWhat could be better than sitting down to read a good book? Nowadays, there are more ways than ever to get your literary fix. Many people still prefer the feel of a real book in their hands, of course, but for a growing number of others, consuming the written word through […]

Facebook groups for book advertising – an analysis

Being an indie authorOh the joys of being an indie author. Manuscript written? Check! Book cover done? Check! Editing finished? Check! Book published? Check! Book marketing? Um…[tumble weeds drift across the plains to the sound of chirping crickets].Being an indie author can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at things. […]

Near death experiences (part 2)

PART 2It’s said that having a near death experience changes you in some way. I can’t say if that’s true or not but I will certainly never forget some of the experience I encountered whilst travelling around the world In this instalment, I recount more of those bizarre moments, where thing could so easily have […]

Near death experiences (part 1)

PART 1I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled extensively over the past half century. Consequently, I’m one of those people that has built up many experiences and stories to tell. At the tender young age of *cough* 49, I’ve actually had quite a few near death experiences at various points throughout my travels. Here are […]

10 best countries for travelling

My wife and I have been fortunate to have travelled extensively before having kids. Not only have we lived in four countries across three continents but we’ve also visited many different countries besides. After spending around eight years in the Netherlands and then six years in Florida, we decided to sell up and embark on […]

7 steps to a successful author visit

As an author, visiting schools can be a rewarding and fun way to inspire your minds. A successful author visit is one in which the students, staff and author all enjoy themselves. Having done a few of these visits myself, I’ve come up with a list of those things that I have found that will […]

Inspiring young minds

When I recently decided to embark on the journey of knocking off that stubbornly persistent bucket list item of publishing a novel, I never really gave much thought to what was going to happen along the way. It turned out to be much more than simply write and publish a novel. Part of the bigger […]

5 steps to getting a book published

Whether it’s skydiving, visiting the Taj Mahal, riding an elephant or learning to play the piano, everyone has that bucket list they’re trying to work through before they die. Having done all of these things myself already, my own bucket list is much smaller nowadays but one of the last remaining entries was to publish […]

City of Casey Volunteer Awards

Sometimes, when you meet like-minded people, things can just click between you. Several years ago, I started volunteering with the local residents association along with some others that have become very good friends. Together, we’ve done some pretty amazing things and have made our community a better place. Last night, although entirely unexpected, that effort […]

So many farewells this year already

The world is growing older and me along with it. It’s a sad but unalterable fact of life that humans have a finite lifetime. With each passing year, the number of farewells increases; the obituaries become more common; more funerals are attended; more of the people I have known and loved stand before the closing […]

Surrounded by talent

One of the very best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is that to be successful, you should make sure you’re surrounded by talent. If you have good, talented people working for you, becoming successful is so much easier.Writing doesn’t necessarily start out as a principal form of income for many authors. It’s often just […]

It’s a small world after all

Writing a novel has mostly involved me sitting at a keyboard and churning out chapter after chapter. In many ways, that was the easy part. Perfecting the novel and bringing it to market, on the other hand, has been a much bigger challenge and has involved numerous people from all over the globe.An endearing feature […]


Ok, so I’ve been putting this off for far too long and I really must now write something about procrastination. It’s the bane of my writing existence and I suspect that of many other authors also. Call it writers block, laziness, lack of organisation, unimaginativeness (is that even a word?) or whatever else you’re comfortable […]


One of the many pieces of information found at the front of a book is the dedication. Along with things like the ISBN number, disclaimer, publishing details and so on, this Front Matter, as it’s called, typically occupies the first few pages of any book you’ll open. Reserving a page all for itself is the […]

Getting ready to publish

It seems like it has taken forever to get from the point of conceiving the idea to here – where I’m now just about ready to publish my first novel. In reality, it’s been really quite a quick process relatively speaking. Some authors have been known to spend literally decades working on their tomes. All […]

What’s wrong with being a girl?

Occasionally, if I’m engaged with someone in a spirited discussion, my interlocutor may try to score points by somehow expressing their perceived superiority. They might make a statement that they think will make them look stronger and me weaker. It’s invariably another male that tries to pull off this type of trick (must be the […]

Just which English are we talking about anyway?

If you are reading this, you can obviously read English. Chances are, despite whether English is your first language or not, you can probably speak it too, right? Yes, I know, I should have been a detective – but I digress. So, what about writing English? It seems a rather straightforward question until you ask […]

Blinded to the blindingly obvious

Like any writer, I’ll often read, re-read, re-re-read and re-re-re-read the same paragraph/scene/chapter over and over, looking for all the inevitable mistakes that are invariably there to be found after first putting the words down. Typically, I’ll pick up several obvious mistakes after reading what I’ve just written, and I’ll do several passes until I […]

Recognition of volunteer work

Today was a very proud day for me. Together with a bunch of other extremely dedicated community volunteer workers, I was privileged to be recognised at this year’s Australia Day awards ceremony in Hampton Park by Mr. Anthony Byrne, MP. Working in the community and volunteering is an extremely rewarding way to spend my free […]

Bringing magical animals to life

When writing, I’m often looking for the right balance between being very descriptive and leaving things to the imagination of the reader. This is especially true of the magical animals that I use to create the world. It’s not an exact science and it doesn’t matter where on the spectrum you end up, it will […]

A protagonist is born

As with any work of fiction, there’s always a protagonist at the heart of it, and so it is also with the PORTALLAS novels. When it came to the main protagonist, I wanted to make sure I’d come up with a character that I was comfortable writing. I had to like and feel for the […]

Of Blood-bats, Raetheons & Dengles

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about writing PORTALLAS is coming up with the rich diversity of flora and fauna. With each book in the series representing a totally different environment, I have a blank slate to start with each time. Conjuring up weird and wonderful plants and animals allows me to set my […]

Why did I start writing?

Ok, so at *cough* 48, I’m perhaps rather late in the game to be starting with a writing career (and I do use that term with a tinge of desperate optimism). With the first novel about to inadvertently stumble across the line, no doubt wondering how on earth it got that far to begin with, […]

The destination

Ok, so this will be my very first blog post. Here it is. Ok. Well, um, so, what happens now? To be honest, I’m not really sure. I do know that this will provide me with a nice little outlet for my musings on various subjects as I navigate the waters of writing and publishing […]