Writing is my passion. I love using words to capture moods, to nail a setting, to revive moments in the past. It’s magic stuff. It’s like composing music, but with language.
I also have something to say. I have worked in child protection and in mental health, helping to develop, implement and review policies and programs. I often admired the resilience of the clients/consumers and the courage and generosity with which they were willing to share their story in order to help others. I also admired the dedication of their caseworkers and clinicians – committed professionals, most of them, who at times achieved fantastic outcomes against all odds. Sadly, I have also read too many clinical review and post-mortem reports that churn my soul to this day.
So I set out to write a novel that touches upon the systemic ‘blind spots’ that impede service delivery. The focus on ‘case finding’ and throughput in child protection, at the expense of providing a meaningful service to kids placed in care. The unrealistically high case loads. The failure to learn from child death inquiries. In mental health, the high threshold for accessing services, the one-dimensional nature of the medical treatment model, the lip service paid to consumer participation and resilience; and the failure to abolish mixed gender wards in Victoria, leaving vulnerable young women exposed to harassment or assault at a time that they need optimal support and safety.
The Best of Intentions tells the story of Gecko, a kid who’s been through foster care’s revolving doors; and Libby, a highly intelligent Year 12 student who struggles with depression and an eating disorder. Enter Kurt, a well-meaning but erratic social worker and—by his own admission—the world’s worst Buddhist. What could possibly go wrong?
Dr Kate Ryan of Writers Victoria described The Best of Intentions as “highly engaging, complex and well-plotted (…) an intelligent and moving novel.”
The Best of Intentions is now available as an e-book, with a paperback version to follow soon. The homepage for my novel has links to the various distribution outlets.
And if you want to check out some of my other writing, I have published a number of short stories as e-books. Different themes though: most of them are set in Belgium in my youth.
I look forward to hearing from you!