When I grow up I want to be…

chris_kinder_swingI survived a perfectly ordinary childhood, despite a very bad haircut.  I spent more hours than I should admit to lying on my bed reading every Enid Blyton, chapter book and novel I could lay my hands on. Even some my mum said I was far too young to read – and some, thank goodness, she never knew about. Reading was my joy. Writing my secret passion.

chris-mater-christiI wrote teenage poetry that I threw away more often than kept, plus beginnings of stories and plot ideas, and I dreamed of writing a novel one day. But back then I knew only “real writers” wrote books. It would be many years before I became brave enough to see if ideas and imagination could make a real writer…

Today, I am a “real” writer with a growing list of published books. Several of my adult literary short stories have been shortlisted/commended and published in literary anthologies and various non-fiction articles have been published in print and on the www.   (Click here to read my writing bibliography.)

tribute-ma-gu-shanEarly in 2006, I ran away from home for a few months and travelled to a rural city in China where I spent ten weeks teaching English to university students and researching a planned novel. Every minute of my trip was fantastic, jaw dropping, sometimes a little scary, and an absolutely incredible opportunity to discover a new culture, gather material and source ideas for new storylines both adult and children’s. My junior fiction story The Key Cutter’s Grandson was both written and set in China. A later junior fiction title The Double-cross evolved from my experiences and places visited during my stay. ( Click here to read a little about my time in China, see some amazing China sights, and meet some of my wonderful Chinese students.)

These days I think I have a much better haircut, and I live in the outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne with my family and our very old, very sweet, but sooky dog, Barley.

I now work  full-time as a writer and my current passion and  major WIP is an historical novel set in the period of the The Great War. I plan to complete the manuscript by the end of this year; that is if I don’t get swept away too often with research on this amazing era and the story settings, which include coal mining villages in Scotland and Australia. Check back soon and I’ll let you know how the novel is coming along.