Before I was an author I was . . . an anthropologist in Bangladesh and Western Australia. A couple of children and a variety of roles in the private and public sectors later, I took on a job that indirectly led me to writing this book, as a researcher of Aboriginal family history.
I started writing because . . . when I was young, I lived overseas without television and read all my Enid Blyton series' and Trixie Beldens ten times over. Writing was an extension of my voracious reading. I stopped writing at seventeen and only started again twenty-one years later when I was made redundant.
The best part of writing The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge was . . . going on a roadtrip to Dongara as a fortieth birthday present to myself. I interviewed local historians and older residents about life in the 1930s, but found myself reconnecting with a part of my own family history as well as my love for the WA coast.
The Secrets at Ocean Edge’s was inspired by . . . two newspaper articles I uncovered about my great- grandfather during some family history research, a journal article about the Great Emu War, and my friend Kate who said there should be a love scene in a bath.
The book that changed my life was . . . Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. I use it as a blueprint for living. As a teenager I craved a bohemian lifestyle, then travelled aimlessly, before being sidetracked by a range of bad decisions. Now I’m looking forward to a simple life of home and family by the sea.
Publicity Coordinator at Hachette Australia and a complete book fiend. My bookshelves are only filled with historical fiction, romance and YA. I have an obsession with ornaments (mainly from Kmart), pom poms, Danish feta and Henry the Eighth (I have a miniature Dachshund named after him). After Harry Potter, Virginia Andrews was my first introduction to reading so you can see why I’m such a heartie at heart.
Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the founder and director of Sweatshop, a literacy movement in Western Sydney devoted to empowering culturally and linguistically diverse artists through creative writing. You will want to spend more that 5 minutes with Michael.