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. The caseworkers and clinicians were my heroes. Committed professionals, most of them, who 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 wrote a book 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 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, leaving vulnerable young women exposed to harassment at a time that they need optimal support and safety.
I could have made those points in a pamphlet, a letter to the editor or a soap box rant. Instead, I have chosen to write a novel; and I realise that engaging the reader requires a ripping story. I hope that The Shadows Cast by a Falling Child provides just that.
It 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 body image issues and depression. Enter Kurt, a well-meaning but bumbling social worker and—by his own admission—the world’s worst Buddhist. What could possibly go wrong?
I am currently working my way through my final edit of The Shadows Cast by a Falling Child. At the end of last year I submitted my draft for a manuscript assessment with Writers Victoria, and the editor’s feedback (“highly engaging, complex and well-plotted (…) an intelligent and moving novel” was heartening. I am citing her praise, not out of vanity, but to reassure you that, as an independent writer, I still pursue the highest standard of excellence in my writing, editing and production.
I am planning to publish my novel later his year, both as a print-on-demand paperback and as an e-book. As for any indie writer, my biggest challenge will be discoverability. I would therefore love it if you could ‘follow’ me on this website. I won’t be sending you newsletters or anything, just the occasional post. It also means that, when my book comes out, you’ll receive a blog post notifying you of the details, so you won’t miss its release!
And if you want to check out my writing before then, I have a number of single short stories published as e-books. Different themes though: most of them are set in Belgium in my youth.
I look forward to hearing from you!