Early bush life fosters adventure novels

WRITING about a gun fight between British and German soldiers didn’t impress Keith McArdle’s primary school teacher but his readers today are fascinated with his action-packed war novels.

“My father told me about world wars but my teacher wasn’t particularly enthralled with a seven year old writing about warfare. It’s not what kids of that age normally write about,” he said.

The former military man turned paramedic will be among the guest writers attending the launch of University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast’s new Creative Writing on Country workshop in Maryborough during the Mary Poppins Festival today, Sunday July 6.

USQ Fraser Coast Executive Manager Brett Langabeer said anyone interested in creative writing of any genre was invited to meet Mr McArdle and other local authors between 10am and noon to hear about their writing journeys, win books and learn how to win a competition prize valued at $550.

Visitors can also learn about USQ’s new Creative Writing on Country workshop to be held on the Labour Day long weekend, October 4 to 6.Creative Writing on Country

Mr McArdle said his writing journey began in early childhood on his family’s 55-acre farm near Mudgee in New South Wales where the lack of television and computer games meant he and his brother entertained themselves in the yard.

“Dad was a school teacher and when he and Mum moved out here from England they had very little money. The farm had no running water, electricity or telephone. Everything was done as it was in Australia’s early days – we had a bush shower and cooked on a cast iron stove. I didn’t see television until I was seven years old.”

Mr McArdle’s keen interest in action and adventure has resulted in two military-based fiction novels – The Forgotten Land and The Reckoning: The Day Australia Fell. He is now writing the latter’s sequel titled Aftermath. A short story in eBook format is currently available for download from Amazon.

People attending the USQ Creative Writing on Country launch on July 6 will hear more about Mr McArdle’s fascinating past and how it led him to be the multi-talented author he is today. Autographed books will be available for purchase on the day. One lucky door winner will take home one of Mr McArdle’s books free.

Other local authors at USQHub@Maryborough, 38 Sussex Street, on Sunday include Toni McRae, T.J Hamilton, Lincoln Bertoli, Linda Downing and USQ’s own international award-winning author and lecturer, Dr Nike Sulway, who will run the USQ workshop in October. The official launch starts at 11am.

This exciting initiative is aimed at helping local writers build their literary skills and to inspire them to have their stories published.

 Photo: Fraser Coast people can meet Keith McArdle and other local authors at USQHub@Maryborough during the Mary Poppins Festival today (Sunday July 6).
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