'I was born in Rockhampton, but I have spent a lot of time in the bush. I come from a farm labouring background. I began working on market gardens as a hand-picker at aged 7. I spent many years on farms and doing other labouring jobs.
I eventually became a teacher and spent many happy years doing that. A few years ago, I retired. I am currently a househusband. I look after the home while my wife works.
I started my journey as a writer in the car park of the Baptist Theologiccal College of Queensland. It was a very cold night. I had just watched an episode of The A Team and was putting the rubbish out before I went to bed. I stood outside and looked up at the stars. Inspired by the program I had just watched, I dreamed of writing a wacky story about some bumbling space pirates. Many decades later that became my first published YA fantasy novel, The Princess and The Pirate.
The desire to write became so strong that I couldn’t resist. Many stories were written, and tucked away, or used to entertain my students. That desire to write has never left me. It is still with me every day.
During my teaching career, I realised that there was a need for chapter books that explained science to students in a fun way. After I won the National B.H.P. /C.S.I.R.O. Science Teacher's Award, my first book in the science field, Kitchen Science, followed and was published by Ashton Scholastic. This book was used in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, and in some schools in South America. Twelve books in the science field followed.
I took a break for some time, and when I returned to writing I went back to my original ideas, and young adult fantasy novels were the result. Morris Publishing Australia published The Princess and The Pirate, the first in the series The Knights of Katesch, in 2013. The Summoning of The One is the second in the series and there are many more to follow.
My books reflect my interest in the medieval. I am a medieval re-enactor and love fighting with metal swords as well as shooting arrows at armoured knights as they rush towards me. It wasn’t hard to move from this make-believe activity to writing about medieval style fantasy. As a child, I used to love make believing that I had some sort of super powers, so it wasn’t hard to include this in my writing as well.
Down stairs, I have created a medieval room, a space that looks like it comes from the 13th Century, as my writing room. When I have a lamp over my desk and some music on, I’m not in 2014 anymore; I’m in my fantasy world.
Many of the weapons I need, for medieval re-enacting, I make. I recently made a 50 kilogram draw-weight bow from a single piece of timber. I can only fire it once and then my shoulder gives out.
I have made and used trebuchets (a type of catapult) in duels with my son. We fired water balloons at one another.
I have always been an inventor and made my 8 inch reflector telescope when I was 18 years old. I ground the mirror by hand and it still works today almost 40 years later. Whatever I needed I had a go at making. For instance, I wanted to do some fishing from a boat, so I made two corrugated iron canoes, lashed them together, and put a tarp up as a sail. I then sailed out onto lagoons to do my fishing.
I love doing wacky science experiments at home, sometimes turning my kitchen into a science lab.
My current project is to make and learn to play my own bamboo flutes.'
Sometimes this passion for making new things interferes with my writing, but most of the time it enhances it.
Visit the sites below to find out more about this exciting book and its unique author.
Sept. 14th http://helenrosswrites.com
Sept. 15th http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au
Sept. 16th http://writingclassesforkids.com
Sept. 17th http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com
Sept. 18th http://morrispublishingaustralia.com
Sept. 19th http://www.robynopie.com
Sept. 20th http://diannedibates.blogspot.com.au
Sept. 21st http://www.kids-bookreview.com
Sept. 22nd http://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/school-magazine
Sept. 23rd http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au
Sept. 24th http://elaineoustonauthor.com
Sept. 25th http://roycebondauthor.com
Sept. 26th http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com