Publications & Competitions
PUBLICATION: Creative Nonfiction - Oh Captain, My Captain! for Zoetic Press' Dearly Beloved: Eulogies for the Ones We Lost Anthology
PUBLICATION: Fiction - Empty Shells for The Quarry literary journal's Issue #11 'The Polygraph'
SELF-PUBLICATION: Microfiction - Moonwakes & Memories on Instagram and Twitter
COMPETITION: First Place Prose - Empty Shells for South Coast Writers' Centre's 'Empty shells are full of stories'
COMPETITION: Short-Listed - South Coast Writers' Centre 'Emerging Writers Mentorship Program'
Professional Writing Qualifications
Master of Creative Writing - Macquarie University (currently studying, commenced July 2017)
Master of Arts (Writing) - Swinburne University of Technology (completed August 2016)
Comedy Writing Masterclass with Tim Ferguson - Australian Film, Television & Radio School [AFTRS] (completed March 2016)
Community Grant-Seeker Training - Strategic Grants (completed July 2017)
Grant & Tender Writing - Centre for Community Welfare Training [CCWT] (completed August 2018)
Genres, Themes & Inspiration
GENRES: Australian Fiction, LGBT+ (including Romance), Drama, Low Fantasy, Young Adult & New Adult Fiction, and Historical Fiction
THEMES: Themes I'm exploring in current projects include beauty of love and romance, LGBT+ and equality, diverse relationships, identity and sense of self, coming of age, grief and loss, mental/physical illness and disability, spirituality, kindness of strangers, journey of life, overcoming hardship and suffering, social judgement and prejudice, conformity, male victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, Australian and UK history, patriotism, setting-as-character (Australia, Scotland, England).
INSPIRATION: Inspiration for my writing comes from many sources including: my love of Australia (my home), my love of Scotland (my second home) and the UK, family, books, music, lyrics, photos or animated gifs, snippets of everyday conversation, people-watching, inspiring people, favourite musicians / writers / actors / public figures / comedians, people dedicated to being themselves and supporting others to do the same, human kindness, stories of strength and resilience, inspirational quotes, vloggers/bloggers, true crime, articles of interest, newspapers, nonfiction literature, writing prompts. And finally, my shower apparently has magical story-musing qualities for plots to appear in my head in the middle of shampooing!
Most of my writing time is spent on fiction novels or short stories, which are my strongest skills. Short stories are a great way to break up the lengthy process of penning and editing novels, though they have a tendency to turn into monsters, which is how I have ended up with more than one novel on the go. All but one of my three novel works-in-progress started as a short story, which led me to discover the fun fact that my best writing ideas come from the act of writing. Short stories are where I test out genres and styles I'm not as familiar with as my main areas of interest and I plan on submitting more to literary journals in the near future. Below are the synopses of the novels I'm working on.
Other writing I enjoy includes flash fiction, 100 word stories, creative nonfiction articles, blog writing, and grant writing submissions. Although I have never been a natural poet, I've recently begun exploring poetry as a tool to sharpen my prose and language skills. The jury is still out as to whether I will aim to have any poetry published in the future.
After working with a supervisor for my postgraduate Masters studying throughout 2019, I'm nearing completion of the first draft of my debut novel, c u l8tr, and readying to move into the rewriting/redrafting phase with the aim to polish it to query level later in 2020. I have two other work-in-progress novels that are on hold to focus on c u l8tr that were commenced during my previous Masters study in 2016, and NaNoWriMo in 2017.
It was the last text message Liam Steele ever received from his boyfriend, Braden Kline. The rainy night of his eighteenth birthday on his way to his party, Braden made the fatal mistake of texting while driving. Losing control of his car, he crashed and died trapped in the wreck before emergency services could get him out.
Braden was a popular high school student with school and basketball team captaincies under his belt. But only one person knew he was gay - Liam, his boyfriend of almost a year. Braden was 'closeted' and their relationship secret. He wasn't ready to come out and feared fallout. In the past, Liam thought Braden was the stereotypical jerk at the top of the high school hierarchy. After hiding a crush on Liam for many months, Braden one day intercepted him in the school grounds and called a truce. Despite wariness and uncertainty, Liam gave him the benefit of the doubt. Soon, Braden came out to him and confessed his feelings, setting Liam on a path of self-discovery of his own identity and a secret romance that would change his life.
The last text Braden ever sent to his boyfriend caused the crash that stole his life. Now Liam is left alone with his grief, and just can't let Braden go...
On the face of it, Zac Valentini is an average Aussie university student and vlogger living in Sydney who is a self-professed “blend into the background” personality. Life has become banal, and he is just going through the everyday motions with lacklustre enthusiasm.
Soon, he becomes crippled by crushing headaches, insomnia, and vivid nightmares. Fearing he has a serious illness, Zac's parents step in and he finds himself undergoing a string of rigorous and invasive medical tests, being poked and prodded by doctor after doctor, before being given a clean bill of health.
One night, sitting alone on the edge of Darling Harbour staring at the water contemplating his existence, Zac has his worst episode of all. Plagued with a vision of a murder scene, a unique tattoo, and haunted by an eerie bagpipe melody, Zac comes-to with an uncontrollable urge to get on a plane to Scotland immediately. The pull is strong, but he can’t explain it. He doesn’t even try. He only knows he can’t ignore it.
After telling his family he is going backpacking with friends in England, Zac boards a flight alone at Sydney International Terminal. His destination? Edinburgh, Scotland.
Wings in the Sand
After living in London for ten years, Spencer Hamilton wanted to do two things when he went home to Australia for a visit - overdose on his nan's Anzac biscuits and swim at his favourite beach. With reports of bluebottle season hitting, he thought his biggest threat might be getting stung on the balls again like he did when he was thirteen. Turned out to be one of the most awkward and embarrassing trips to the lifesavers' medical bay in months and a story to keep his relatives in stitches at family barbecues for years. Until his dad died and his mum wanted to move back London to be closer to her family soon after and he had no choice but to move with her. At least the rumours were true, they did a pretty mean fish and chips, but he would always be an Aussie boy in heart and soul.
Ditching his thongs and towel by a dune that second day back on Aussie soil and sand, Spencer headed for the waves. Next thing he knew, he was waking up in the hospital after nearly drowning at the beach with no recollection of what happened. The nurse hands him a gold chain with a pendant of diamond angel wings and tells him it was lucky he was still wearing it when he was rescued. Only, Spencer has never seen the pendant before... and who the hell is that strange guy sitting in the chair by his bed smirking at him?