I was born in Malta in 1946 in the suburb of Hamrun, not far from Valetta. I and my parents emigrated to Sydney Australia in 1951. I grew up in the inner Sydney suburb of Pyrmont and lived in a rented house. I had a great childhood, going to primary school, reading, playing football and cricket on the street outside my home, and going off with my friends on adventures, which had my parents known I would have been grounded.
We moved to Mascot, another suburb on the other side of the city and close to Botany Bay, where I went to the local high school. On leaving high school I was able to get and apprenticeship in a Furniture Factory and qualified as a Wood Machinist. In subsequent years I married and then joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a member of the logistic group. I worked to become a Business analyst and was posted to Defence Headquarters in Canberra, and there I stayed for the next seven years posted to five different projects within the locality.
After completing my higher education certificate I left the RAAF and joined the Department of Defence as a public servant and worked on a multi Service supply project, plus other Defence projects. I joined a private Information Technology firm as a business analyst and after ten years rejoined the public service till my retirement in 2008.
Reading books was always encouraged by my mother. It was a time during when television was transmitted a few hours a day. My mother bought many children and teenage books, mostly the classics that covered a variety of genres. My favourite books are ‘One Thousands and One Arabian Nights’, ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Robinson Crusoe’, and history books. My writing all began while serving in the RAAF. Starting from a challenge and dare one day from a colleague in 1977. I was purchasing officer and because of my off the cuff remark – it is easy to write a book – my colleague who was an avid reader of fiction and romance wanted to see whether I would put my money where my mouth was and write a book. On accepting the challenge, I went home that day and after helping with my two children, read a story to them. My wife after an exhausting day went to bed and I started on the first draft of my first novel, and wrote till one in the morning, finishing the first chapter. Pleased with myself I took the first chapter to show my colleague who read it during morning tea. She handed back to me and wanted more. So after two months, written mainly at night I completed twelve chapters all by pen.
My writing journey had begun and I was hooked trying to squeeze the time to typing it up and small portable typewriter that I purchased from a secondhand store in Newcastle for $20. I spent a lot of time concentrating on rewriting and editing. But my work was very demanding when I joined a high priority project. This took up more of my time, and with family time and commitments my writing was pushed aside. I did find lunchtimes was enough to keep editing the manuscript when time allowed.
Thirty years later when I retired in 2008, which gave me more time to devote in completing and publishing the first novel ‘Inheritance’ in June 2014. My debut novel Inheritance was finally published. The rewrite and editing process increased the original size twofold. I had met with other authors who I now regard as my friends and their advice was to split the book in two. I agonised over the process, where to separate but still retain the flow of the plot to the ending. A long agonising period passed before I found where the manuscript could be divided and still retain the plot and both novels could stand alone and still relate. And from the feedback I feel that this was reasonably successful, but found I still have a lot to learn in the craft.
The second novel, Deception, continues the original story with a rewrite, and a new sub plot. It was completed and published in 2016. The novels can be found here and non-fiction are found here.
I continue to write daily, which keeps my grey cells turning, where I create new stories and adventures for my readers to enjoy. The next novel-in-progress introduces a new character and genre. So keep visiting me here where I will keep you informed of progress…
My Bonsai Journey
I also have an interested in the art of Bonsai, and have been active in the art since 1988 the year I joined the Canberra Bonsai Society. I found myself involved in the local bonsai community and served on the Society’s executive as treasurer over a six year period. I also nominated and was elected as a director and secretary of the Association of Australian Bonsai Clubs Ltd (2005 – 2008), the national Australian Bonsai organisation that promotes and assists Australian Bonsai Clubs. During my membership in the Canberra Bonsai Society I was fortunate to be honoured with the following:
In 2014 I was honoured by the awarding of the Canberra Bonsai Society Life Membership.
In 2013 I was awarded the Nancy Stackpoole ‘Why’ Award in recognition for the advice, instruction and sharing the art of Bonsai to members of the society.
In 1999 I was awarded The Shirley McLachlan Award for my contribution to the Society, and again in 2013 for the role as director of the 2013 Australian National Convention ‘The Australian Journey’ which the Society held in Canberra.
In the 1990s, I saw a need for beginners and masters in the art of bonsai, for an index to find articles and techniques in international bonsai magazines of which there were two popular around the world. I set about to design and publish two index publications; the ‘An index for the Bonsai Focus (2014)’, and ‘An Index for the International Bonsai Magazine (2016)’, which are in high demand and can be found here.
I have a wonderful wife and two children, who have blessed us with seven wonderful grandchildren. I live in the Australian Capital Territory in Australia in the city of Canberra. I volunteer at The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection situated at the National Arboretum Canberra, Australia.