Writer. Accredited Editor. Speaker. Podcaster. Dream Releaser.
Where am I?
I live in Brisbane, Australia and travel the world, but there’s a good chance you’ll find me near a book — writing one, reading one, or editing one for someone else.
I am an award-winning author, a 20-year editor accredited by the Institute of Professional Editors, a blogger, podcaster, and workshop presenter.
I love to encourage other writers, and have several websites. Check out these links:
- To check out my online courses: usefulwritingtips.teachable.com
- To enquire about hiring me and/or my team: smallbluedog.com
- To read more than 60 free articles with industry tips about writing, publishing and self-publishing: smallbluedog.com
- To listen to the podcast I co-host for writers of faith: gracewriters.com
I’m often found outdoors, and not only because it gets me away from the housework I haven’t done. I love the ocean, the wilderness and the sky.
Over on my Facebook page, I share stories from around the web that inspire me, as well as my own stories and photos. Expect a focus on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as I research my upcoming novel, Venom Reef.
Where I’ve come from
I studied journalism and worked as a reporter for radio and television, thousands of years ago. I regret not asking the ice dancers Torville and Dean for their autographs.
I followed a personal passion into theology studies at Moore College Sydney. It was supposed to be one year, but it turned into four years and an Honours degree. From there, instead of going back to journalism, I detoured into the book publishing industry.
I now edit books for a living, and help new authors find their bliss.
I love animals, especially dogs. Mine fill my life with joy and shouting. Killarney, the Small Blue Dog after whom my business is named, recently “retired” aged nearly 17. Rufus, the Medium Red Dog, was born to my mother’s border collie.
I love hiking, despite having bad knees. Or perhaps I just want an excuse to visit hiking shops, which offer a lot of nifty gadgets for inflated prices. I actually do walk in the rain rather than just talk about it with a dreamy expression, and I have the Gortex-lined shoes to prove it.
I love camping, and know how to wash the dishes in a plastic bowl. I’ve also travelled a lot internationally. My favourite stop in any foreign country is not a museum but a food store; you can learn so much about how people live by seeing how they shop and what they eat.
The first book in my Wild Crimes mystery series, Poison Bay, has won a Varuna Fellowship and an IPPY Silver Medal. I’ve written about how the idea began festering many years ago when I was travelling round New Zealand’s South Island, awestruck by the scenery and the tales of weather-related mayhem I heard again and again. For reviews and lots more about Poison Bay, click here, and you can view the book trailer below.
It is now also available in German as Verschollen in der Poison Bay, and I’ve been delighted by the response from German readers.
The sequel, Venom Reef, is under construction. This time I’ll be taking my readers to the tropical paradise of the Great Barrier Reef where, of course, the sun will shine, azure waters will lap at white sands, and then… (ha, you’ll have to wait and see)
My award-winning light memoir, Dogged Optimism: Lessons in Joy from a Disaster-Prone Dog (December 2015), is about my eventful years with Killarney the Australian terrier. It was originally going to be a collection of funny anecdotes, but along the way I discovered that I couldn’t tell her story without telling some of my own as well. You can check out what other people think about it by clicking here.
In a completely different genre, I also write spiritual thoughts from the heart in Scripture Union UK’s quarterly publications, and published a stand-alone book in 2001, Closer to God for Newcomers, available on Amazon and BookDepository (among others).
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