A mercifully brief bio…
My writing career began in 1992, when I decided to write a few books. These included Jobs Abroad: The Australian Traveller's Guide to Working Overseas (1992), Attracting Frogs to Your Garden: Creating an Ideal Habitat for Native Frogs in Your Own Backyard (1996), Australian Bush Survival Skills: A Complete Guide to Surviving in the Wild (2000) and Australian Chess Brilliancies: Creative Attacking Chess from Down Under (2009).
Jobs Abroad was an extremely popular book with globe-trotting backpackers and went to three editions. This reference paved the way for young travellers to pursue their dreams of working in a foreign land, and included overseas employment options ranging from bar work in Botswana's Okavango Delta and summer camp jobs in Canada to Caribbean yacht crewing and teaching English in Taiwan.
Attracting Frogs to Your Garden was an Aussie bestseller (over 30,000 sold and still going strong), and won the Whitley Book Award in 1996. It was voted 'Best Book in the Field of Practical Zoology' by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, and resulted in my obligatory 15 minutes of fame on The Midday Show with Kerri-Anne in 1997. I still receive royalties from this one, even though it's almost 20 years old now.
I wrote Australian Bush Survival Skills in 2000 because the only survival guides I could find in bookstores were written by British or US authors, and didn't really apply Down Under. This book remains the most comprehensive outdoor survival manual ever produced for Australian conditions. Though the original version is out of print, I hope to get around to resurrecting it as an eBook one of these days. The biggest benefit of writing this book was being invited to join an epic 4-wheel drive expedition across Australia (through several deserts) – an adventure filmed for the World Around Us television program as The Great Australian Trek. My official role was 'survival consultant', but I did very little except consume most of the expedition's stock of Tim Tam chocolate biscuits.
Australian Chess Brilliancies showcases the creative genius of past and present Australian chess players, and was favourably reviewed by Australia's most famous Grandmaster, Ian Rogers, as well as a number of overseas chess writers and reviewers. It continues to be used in chess academies as a teaching aid and historical chess reference for younger chess players. Trivia alert: I was editor/publisher of Queensland Chess magazine in 1998, the Alaska State Chess Champion in 1980 and the Queensland LIghtning Chess Champion (each player gets only 5 minutes on the clock) in 2009.
I later moved away from book writing into professional copywriting for businesses, quickly gaining a reputation for (a) never missing a deadline, (b) exceeding client expectations, (c) crafting copy that not only looks good, but actually helps businesses make more money, (d) an almost freakish level of writing versatility and (e) chuckling surreptitiously at sentences like "Let's leverage our synergies to create a value-added touch point, raise the bar, think outside the box, give 110%, shift the paradigm, push the envelope, drill down to our core competencies, take the helicopter view on brand alignment and create a win-win." (Insert involuntary shudder here).
In 2016, I wrote The Jet-setting Copywriter: How to Fund All your Overseas Adventures through Freelance Writing, and created a website and blog of the same name. They outline how to combine professional writing, travel and adventure into a flexible, location-independent lifestyle. You'll find all these goodies at www.thejetsettingcopywriter.com
When not writing for a living, I use the proceeds to explore the most pristine wilderness river systems on earth as the Remote River Man, occasionally self-filming feature-length DVDs in the process (yes, please buy one if you must). I have shared antelope stew (at least that's what they said it was) with Baka pygmies in Gabon, dodged black bears and flash floods in BC, Canada, tracked pumas and tapirs in the Paraguayan Chaco and was the first person to conduct a major solo packraft expedition in Australia. I also paddled down a remote jungle river in Guyana with a Makushi tribesman who could shoot fish with a bow and arrow from a moving canoe, weave a serviceable daypack out of a single palm frond in five minutes and start a fire in the pouring rain.
I take pride in the quality of my professional writing work and look forward to assisting you with your next project – no matter how big or small.