Authors & Artists

Our authors

Angela Bendall Gideon Cecil Brett Gordon Alem Hailu Rhiannon Hall
JM Harrington John Harrington Justin Murphy Vreni Murphy Juliette Oliver
Timothy Percival Kathy Pollock Shane Purvis Nigel Sinclair Kevin S. Young

Our artists

Ashlee Marie Photography Lauren Ball Helen Hiett

Author bio

CONNECT WITH ANGELA

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Angela Bendall

For the past few years Angela has been working as a Field Technician in a predominantly male-oriented industry. She spends her time running around the bush looking at plants or searching for fauna, in the office writing reports, or working with wildlife, which is her passion. She created I Love My Steel Cap Boots to share her experiences as a female in her industry, her mishaps and misadventures, her triumphs, and her wildlife encounters — it offers a glimpse into the world she inhabits while wearing her steel cap boots.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH GIDEON

Gideon Cecil

Gideon Sampson Cecil was born on the 9th of May 1968 in Rose Hall Town, Corentyne Berbice, Guyana. He holds a Master of Divinity from Life Christian University in Tampa, Florida and a degree in journalism. He is a college lecturer and freelance journalist. He is the winner of several literary awards, which include the Offerings Poetry Award in Guyana 1997, The Editor’s Choice Poetry Award 1993–2012 from the International Library of Poetry in the United States, and an Inter American Press Association finalist award for his essay on Press Freedom in 1998. He has published poetry, short stories, essays and articles in magazines, journals and newspapers at home and abroad. He has over 300 poems, articles, stories and essays published from 1993 to 2013. He is the author of the romantic collection of poetry The Revelation of Love published by Outskirts Press and recently republished by Tate Publishing & Enterprises LLC. His poetry was published in POUi X by The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. He wrote for the Guyana Prize for Literature from 1996 to 2006. He is currently the editor of six volumes of children’s poems and stories for the Caribbean Press. His book publications in poetry are Songs of My Soul (2002), Issues of Life (2003) and The Revelation of Love (2009, republished 2013).


Author bio

CONNECT WITH BRETT

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Brett Gordon

Brett Gordon, or The Sunshine Traveller, is a spunky English teacher-turned travel writer who now travels for a living. She earned bachelor degrees in English and Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, then went on to complete a Master in English Education from North Carolina State University. After teaching grammar and composition for a year at Wake Technical Community College, she decided that travelling and writing were her two driving passions and has since pursued a travel-writing lifestyle. Her main interests are culture, politics, photojournalism and food, and though she loves Indian food, dim sum and smoothies, she’ll always be a Southern girl at heart … constantly craving sweet tea and pecan pie.


Author bio
Alem Hailu G/Kristos

Mr Alem Hailu is a published author from Ethiopia. He is a poet, novelist, translator, editor and journalist. He has a MA in literature from Addis Ababa University. Currently he is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Ethiopian Herald. He is an active participant of different poetry blogs such as www.poemhunter.com, www.poetrypoems.com and www.allpoetry.com. Most of his poems appear in the art and culture columns of various newspapers. His published works include A Vent to Stifled Emotions: A Cocktail of Poems (Trafford, ISBN 978-1-4907-5675-2 (Sc) ISBN 978-1-4907-5674-5 (e)). His novel Hope from the Debris of Hopelessness and poetic drama In the Vortex of Passion’s Wind (United, ISBN 978-3-7103-2109-2) are in the pipeline. He is 40 and lives with his parents.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH RHIANNON


Rhiannon Hall

Hi, my name is Rhiannon and I am currently a receptionist at a small business, ProSciTech Pty Ltd, that sells laboratory supplies worldwide. I live in Townsville, a beautiful city in tropical North Queensland, Australia. I have lived here all my life. When I am not working at ProSciTech, you can find me with my nose in a good book, daydreaming or sketching new designs for my label Rhirhisugar.

I have always been creative. At the age of eight I started my love affair with dance. I fell in love with ballet, modern and contemporary dance styles. I would enter eisteddfods around North Queensland, but what I loved the most was performing at the annual concerts. I was free to be whomever I wanted to be on the stage … that is the best feeling in the world. When I was fourteen I was accepted into the Extensions Youth Dance Company. I stayed with the company for three years until I decided to pursue teaching dance. I now teach dance at Happy Feat, a local dance group for people with special needs. I am completely at home with a pair of Pointe shoes on my feet — it’s my little escape from reality.

I am someone who has my head in the clouds. I like seeking an escape from the world, which is probably why I read a lot of books. I love my life but being able to live a thousand lives through books makes it that much more exciting.

My mother always told me I could be and do whatever I wanted; all I had to do is believe I could. That is exactly how I choose to live!


Author bio

CONNECT WITH JM

JM Harrington

JM Harrington was born in East Ham one year to the day before England won the world cup in 1966. He attended the university of life, the school of hard knocks and the kindergarten of having the crap kicked out of you. A semi-cockney, he was not born within the sound of Bow bells but around the corner from the Boleyn Castle. He has been interested in the Dark Ages since he was a young boy at primary school when he was first introduced to the Saxons and Vikings. This fired his love of history and historical fiction. He is working on his own Norse saga based around one of the main characters from Njals Saga. His story has a more modern form and will be embellished with quotes from The Poetic Edda and The Saxon Chronicle to enhance it. Skirmish at Swanage is a short story set in the same time frame as his trilogy, and he has a few more like it. These stories began as ideas for the books but did not quite fit in with the story line. He has decided to lift them out and see if they can stand alone. JM Harrington carries a little black book around for writing ideas, and it is filling up quickly with his thoughts on future works, which include ideas for other genres. The first book in his trilogy is called King of the Norse and will be available on Amazon and iBooks.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH JOHN

John Harrington

When reflecting on the purpose behind my writing, the most common catalyst is the people I find myself so lucky to have in my life and share experiences with. The process of writing one’s perspective using a combination of idiosyncratic symbols in such a way that others can translate and begin to paint visual imaginings excites and fascinates me. Wherever you observe there is something enchanting at play, from the infinitesimally small scale of an atom to the galactic cluster that forms our neighbouring galaxies and all the bits in between, nature and her laws are apparent in all her wonderment. Therefore through the channel of words I endeavour to share my perspective so together we can journey through the universe of storytelling on a wonderful adventure. I hope it will encourage abstract thought.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH HELEN

Helen Hiett

I have always drawn. I remember a bluebell in the garden being my first great project. I don’t believe a flower has ever caused such pain as that bluebell did to my green fingers. I started out painting abstracts and making sculptures from found objects, then moved on to illustration after developing a great love for reading. I still draw a lot of inspiration from nature, particularly metamorphosis and also the juxtaposition between beauty and the grotesque. Hieronymus Bosch is a master at this, an artist whose layers of imagery tell a thousand stories, wonderful and devious. I love narrative in any format, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to the music of the Tiger Lillies. I think it’s important for illustrators to be able to enhance the written word with their own imagery; Shaun Tan’s illustrations create this fantastic magical atmosphere with his nostalgic style. Last year I spent a lot of time doing live art, drawing with Montana Graffiti pens on boards for music and poetry events. At the moment I use mainly pen and ink; it’s the finest traditional medium I can find. I’m currently researching religious triptychs and Victorian medical illustrations for a new illustration for one of Shane’s poems. It’s going to be a terrifying addition to the bestiary we are creating. You can check out the progress on my website. My favourite artists are Goya, Gustav Dorè and Max Ernst.


Author bio
Justin Murphy

A self-described coffee snob who embraces lean and clean eating, Justin can be found adventuring (of the extreme sports variety), in or on or under the water, and capturing it all on camera.


Author bio
Vreni Murphy

Vreni grew up in Switzerland and emigrated to Australia in 1972, when she was 23. For many years she was busy with family and work but now she is retired and enjoys having lots of time for cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, knitting and playing her recorders and tinwhistles.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH ASHLEE MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

Ashlee Marie Photography

A Brisbane photographer moving into fashion editorial, boudoir and fine art photography, Ashlee’s passion is creating art from one still moment in time.


Author bio
Lauren Ball

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I’m never without a pencil in my hand and take my sketchbook everywhere I go. I believe that art is a constant learning process and so I am always keen to learn new ways to improve my skills. My style is primarily cartoon, inspired by Disney, comic books and the art of Pin Up. I love to draw, it is my passion and I love to share it.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH JULIETTE

Juliette Oliver

OrcKid Yoga was dreamt up seven years ago while I was a school teacher and novice yogi who lived for Wednesday nights when I would make the frenetic hour-and-a-half journey into Elephant and Castle for my weekly yoga class. I attended Ashtanga Yoga in a Buddhist Centre and always arrived full of enthusiasm, slightly stressed and full of a sense of freedom as this was my only night off from marking and being a single parent of twins. I made a mammoth effort to be there every week, enlisting the help of my good friends, because this one class never failed to evoke in me a feeling of being alive — I always left with a heart full of inspiration, a sense of confidence and a lightness of mind.

After a few years as a school teacher, I realised that the juggle of jobs and nine-year-olds was not working; I was worn out! So we headed to the sea. We moved 100 miles to Dorset with dreams of a different existence — one of harmony and happiness and space to enjoy each other.

OrcKid Yoga was still an idea when we arrived in Dorset. After spending the past four years in schools, I could see the benefit of children practising yoga and I wanted to bring the positivity and nurture of yoga into schools. I built OrcKid Yoga for children over the next three years. During this time I also trained to teach adults, and gradually I built up enough yoga classes to be able to leave school teaching altogether.

My intention to teach has always remained constant. Now my goal is to help bring a sense of lightness, contentment and strength to all who practise with me. I vividly remember how I used to feel after Savasana (the relaxing end part of a yoga class), and if I can help provide a space for others to feel this too, then I feel I have contributed to this world in a useful way. My approach of being of use to people has expanded into teaching meditation and mindfulness: I have been a practising Buddhist for six years and from my own experience have realised how much unnecessary suffering we endure by allowing our minds to run riot. I am a happy being. My children are happy. We have found happiness among some real challenges and I credit this to the wisdom that yoga and meditation shows us.

To be happy is a human right, but to be human is to be subjected to all kinds of pain. Yoga and meditation bring a sense of strength and stability into an ever-changing, fickle world; our practise allows us to realise our best selves, and our best selves have the best effect on others, which contributes to the best possible outcome of a connected, happy world.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH TIMOTHY

Timothy Percival

Timothy Percival began writing ten years ago while living in Earls Court, London. Since then he’s been occupied with the idea of vignettes, and how some of the most perfect things are the most concise. The past seven years he’s spent as a writer on the south coast, moving there to be closer to the horizon.


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CONNECT WITH KATHY

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Kathy Pollock

Kathy Pollock is a Brisbane-based writer who specialises in personal essays and dabbles in poetry. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Creative and Professional Writing in 2015, and is midway through her Honours degree, in which she is researching the cultural critique present in female comedic memoir. Kathy has been previously published by Kill Your Darlings and Lip Magazine, has read at Avid Reader and Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Literary Salon, and has written for QUT’s Universe Magazine and The Music. She is a self-proclaimed Scooby, Browncoat, X-Phile and feminist. She writes at kathyjanepollock.com and tweets @KathyJaneP.


Author bio

Shane Purvis

My writing is inspired by other people. A large portion of what I do is because I love collaboration; getting to explore and expand on ideas with other minds is incredibly fun. I have been writing in fits and starts for the past ten years. It’s only very recently, the last eight months or so, that I’ve shown anyone anything I’ve written. Since then I haven’t stopped and the stories and poems keep piling up. I started writing because I have a love for art but can’t draw or paint, so I try my hardest to convey those images through words instead. The writers I admire most are Neil Gaiman, because everything he does is amazing, Mikhail Bulgakov, because The Master and Margarita is the most beautiful book ever written, and Bret Easton Ellis, because I admire his ability to make you loathe yourself and feel physically sick by simply reading the words he has put on paper.


Author bio

CONNECT WITH NIGEL

Nigel Sinclair

I write poetry for fun and do not take myself seriously. I hesitate to call myself a poet at all, but if I had to put a label on me it would be people’s poet: I write poetry that is easy to read and understand, ranging from poems that tell a story to nonsense rhymes to poems about history. I am 66 years old, left school when I was fifteen and have never passed an exam in my life. I have had a variety of occupations (too many to count), ranging from fisherman to pylon painting and owning tea rooms in Devon, a seaside kiosk in Eastbourne and a village shop and post office in Lincolnshire. I have lived in Hampshire, Lancashire, Norfolk and Yorkshire. I was born in London. I know nothing about the intricacies of formal poetry and to be honest I am not a lover of rules so I feel this gives me freedom to write in a non-conformist way. In the past I have just put my poems on Facebook, but judging by the response I would like to reach a wider audience as my poems seem to generate interest from people who would never normally read poetry.


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Kevin S. Young

Lost in the word playground, a vice verser of unsound image. Up to something and anything. I skim, I’m trying, I dabble. Ain’t nobody here for long, and quickly, I’ll ski-paddle. I’m intending to gather my words, because here they are everywhere. This seems to be a way. I can’t explain myself otherwise.