It's All About Me...
High school teacher and now author. Whoda thunk it?
Born on the wild plains of Western Sydney (we have our own parklands now!),
I grew up being stalked by vengeful magpies and spending an inordinate amount of time riding my lime green dragster around the neighourhood doing CHiPs turns around corners (take that Gen Y - you'll never get that 70's reference!)
I did try my hand (and foot) at a few sports - league, athletics and even tennis, all with hilarious but sadly forgettable results.
After putting off homework for much of my school and university life I somehow came to the conclusion that I should try giving homework to others so I became a teacher. Now I always have homework - marking the homework of said others! Oh life you ironic prankster you!
Over the last 15 years I've tried my hand at the writing caper with vastly underwhelming success - 3 short stories, an unpublished novel and quite a few hilarious emails to friends.
That was until I scored a gig writing children's books for Billy Slater about rugby league. Now I try to juggle writing with teaching, which is quite silly, because I can't even juggle oranges.
I live with a lovely wife, two giggly daughters and a very fluffy spoodle with a sock stealing fetish.
This is me
This is FLASH the SOCK THIEF
Okay, no one has asked me any of these questions yet but they're the kind of thing that most real authors have on their sites so I asked myself these questions and I was totally shocked by the answers I gave myself!
WHAT'S YOUR NAME?
Hello... look at your website.
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I'm the same age as you (me - Pat. Not you - reader).
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER?
I really wanted to play first grade football for Manly Warringah but I was terrible at footy so then I decided to get real and become a Vet or a Zoologist because I liked dogs and horses. Then I realised I wasn't smart enough so then I decided to become an animator because I liked drawing cartoons. But then I visited an animation studio and all the animators looked like zombies from drawing the same cartoon hand in slightly different positions over and over again so I decided no thanks, I'll just be a film director instead. But no one would give me any money to make films (and I didn't really ask which is probably why no one gave me money) so finally I decided to just play it safe and become Australia's Next Top Model but that show hadn't been invented yet so I became a teacher instead. Now I somehow write kids books with famous sports stars. What a weird world!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVE BOOKS?
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Wind in the WIllows by Kenneth Greene
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
and most other books starting with The...
I do like Harry Potter even though there's no 'the' in the titles.
I also like Stephen King books and I was a big fan of The Three Investigators in Year 7.
As a kid I also read lots of comics, mostly Spiderman. I still remember the first one I got when I was six and my mum took me to the newsagent and bought me Marvel Team Up between Spiderman and Iron Man. The other early comic I really loved was one called What If Spiderman joined the Fantastic Four? I love the idea of an alternative universe where one little change meant a whole other alternate reality. I've though about writing my own What If stories, like What If My Mum Had Named Me Simon (she was going to) or What If I Didn't Have Lamb Cutlets for Dinner (which I did). Who knows what freaky alternate realities would be borne from those two scenarios?
WHERE DO YOU GET ALL YOUR AMAZING IDEAS?
Yes they are amazing aren't they? Often I find them in the strangest places, behind the sofa, up the back of the clothes dryer, at the bottom of the garden, hang on, I'm thinking of socks.
I don't know where the ideas come from but off the top of my head I'd say... off the top of my head. That and from real life. I steal a lot of stuff from my family and friends.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO KIDS WHO WANT WRITE SPORTS STORIES?
I wouldn't. That's my gig. Try writing about something else instead, like stamp collecting or insects.
Infrequently Asked Questions
BOOKS GO ON THE SHELF
COMICS GO ON THE FLOOR