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Colleen Ashby - Platinum Author
'I Can See Clearly Now'
Colleen is a Perth Hills resident, mum, former high school special-needs educational assistant, fitness instructor and a type 1 diabetic.
Following a heart transplant in 2017 (which is not normally offered to type 1 diabetics), Colleen lost 95% of her sight.
This hasn't stopped her living life to its fullest and she is now an advocate for DonateLife WA and a supporter of the Transplant Games.
Colleen is sharing her story of resilience in the hope it will help, inspire and encourage people to appreciate what they have and what they can achieve.
Colleen's book, 'I Can See Clearly Now: the soundtrack of my life' is releasing in March 2021.
Ann Basili & Aura-Luna
Astara & Erefry. The Goddesses of the Realm & the Little Blue Planet
Linda M Blackshaw
'The Sand Bear has no Socks'
Linda is a Scottish grandmother who loved reading to her children. Now she reads to her grandchildren who like her to make up stories and read from books.
Several years ago, she saw a picture of odd socks on top of sticks, stuck in the sand. When she was going to a workshop ‘Writing for Children’, the picture came to mind and the Sand Bear was born. Linda has several short stories in anthologies published by The Society of Women Writers WA Inc. and two non-fiction books. This is her first children’s book. She has ideas for two more ‘Eric’ books and one nearly finished book ‘Billabong Clean Up.’
An intriguing title has also popped into her head ‘The tree went for a walk’ and Linda is plotting out how that story might look.
Apart from her passion for writing, reading and her family, Linda loves public speaking and next year has enrolled in a year-long art class.
My thanks go to:
Helen Iles of The Society of Women Writers WA for her workshop Writing for Children which set this story in motion.
For bringing ‘Eric’ to life; Amanda Schubert you are amazing.
To Claudette and Lisa from Footprints Publishing for bringing my words into being.
'Moving to Chulsa'
Rob Craggs was born in London in 1958, cutting his teeth on the working-class streets before finding escape in hairdressing with the promise of… well, something better than council estate life.
But if dealing with mixed-race issues in the playground wasn’t enough, new issues cropped up while trying to find his place, in what was then an effeminate industry, revelling in sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
After many years and life-lessons, confidence and curiosity were developing, until one fateful day on 2nd January 1986, Rob arranged two appointments; with an accountant and a church minister. He had decided to start his own business and had become interested in God.
His direction changed dramatically. He put on the Christian badge and arranged his life to match but the real inner spiritual work wasn’t as simple as that. It would prove to be messy and painful.
Despite building a successful business, Rob had many demons to face. After several bouts of anxiety, he realised the need for catharsis and healing and concluded that writing a memoir might help.
‘I’d always been a storyteller but many of my stories were too adult for my kids, I had to wait until they were adults before writing the whole story; the result being ‘Moving To Chulsa’, which, I’m pleased to say, has been nominated for the 2019 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.’
Today, Rob loves styling hair in his home salon and spending time with his family both in Australia and the UK. He also loves brewing beer, running, walking and taking cold showers.
His Christian faith continues to grow but he no longer wears a badge and he still swears a bit too much!
Rob is a member of The Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre where he occasionally attends workshops. He is currently working on his next book.
'Norm - Bomber Command'
James was a war baby. Born in August 1944, in the then Bomber Command County of Lincolnshire, England. He emigrated to Australia in January 1946 with his English mother. His father Norm got a job as a pilot with Trans Australia Airways (TAA) and James’ young life was spent moving from city to city as his father was transferred with his work. From Sydney to Brisbane to Melbourne to Sydney and finally back to Melbourne, James saw many schools as he grew up. He joined TAA as a Dispatch Officer and stayed for 21 years. His time with TAA included a posting to Goroka in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. A most beautiful place with a perfect climate. In 1987, as he tired of the shift work, James resigned and ventured into small business buying the local Produce store and Saddlery. In 1974, he married Margaret Challons who was also a Dispatch Officer with TAA. They bought a second Produce Store and Saddlery in Whittlesea. After 15 years they sold the stores and tried other small business ventures finishing with a bakery. They recently retired and have four adult children and nine Grandchildren. James had major surgery for prostate cancer in November 2019 with follow up radiation and is doing well. His interests are his family, the Collingwood AFL team, aviation and he keeps a cautious eye on politics.
‘My father joined Bomber Command in 1941 and was one of few to survive. Not only did he survive, his war was an adventure and he brought home a family. His welcome home was very poor, as it was for the Vietnam veterans many years later. These events are now 75 years old but still worth telling.’
Norm – Bomber Command is James’ first book.
'The Super-Dooper Totally Not Real Diary of 12-year-old Delilah Darkleen'
Hannah-Jade Keppler is a 14-year-old homeschooled writer, singer, composer and actress.
Her first endeavour in the writing world was authoring a full musical at the age of 9. She wrote the script, four original songs and all incidental music. 'Fantasy Land' went on to tour Perth and the South-West region and garnered a Youthfest 'Best Original Script' award for Hannah-Jade at 11 years of age.
Hannah-Jade also runs Slushie School Writers Group - a group of 6 children who write and act in the web series, 'Rainbow Unicorn Slushie School'. She has also written and performed songs that have been picked up as theme songs for web series.
She is the youngest Board member of New City Theatre and directed and acted in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' for them, winning Best Actress at Youthfest 2019 for her portrayal of Puck.
She has also been nominated twice for The Channel 7 West Australian Young Achievers Awards.
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