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About the author***
Ross Gordon is married to Carolyn, whom he met at Pietermaritzburg University in South Africa. Ross and Carolyn live on a rural property in Tasmania’s beautiful Huon Valley fruit growing region. They have three adult daughters who were all born in Zimbabwe but now live and work in Australia. Ross was born in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in 1963 to a Rhodesian farmer father and an English mother. He grew up and worked in Zimbabwe, where he witnessed the country’s transition from white minority to majority rule, as well as Robert Mugabe’s pogroms. Before settling permanently in Tasmania, he lived in Vanuatu. An avid observer of wildlife and people, Ross Gordon works as a full-time beekeeper.
BREW Question: Did you love reading books when you were little? Why or why not?
Author’s Response: Yes, we were assigned a set number of pages to read daily by our teacher, but I always read much more of our set books, then all the books in the kindergarten library, then ultimately all of the books in the school library except Encyclopedia Britannica. They opened up new worlds.
BREW Question: At what age did you start reading books? What were your best memories of that time?
Author’s Response: At age 5. My best memories are of children engrossed in activities and a smell of wax crayons and pencil shavings from the clamp-on pencil sharpener on the teacher’s desk.
BREW Question: What was the first book you loved reading? Why?
Author’s Response: I loved Are You My Mother and Otto the Goldfish because I could directly relate them to my own experiences.
BREW Question: When did you first think about writing your first book? Why?
Author’s Response: I thought about writing short stories for my children in my early thirties when they were all under 10. I had intense dreams about writing where I could see the words appear on the pages. I used to wake up with a screaming headache. Writing stopped the dreams and I have an unpublished collection of short stories from that time.
BREW Question: What was the greatest obstacle you’ve encountered when you were writing your book? What made you overcome it?
Author’s Response: Self-doubt was the biggest obstacle. Affirmation by friends and relatives who read my work and insisted it should be published helped overcome it.
BREW Question: What pieces of advice can you give aspiring authors? What worked for you?
Author’s Response: For non-fiction, don’t hold back on the truth, no matter how uncomfortable. This includes your emotions. Also, don’t embellish unnecessarily. For fiction writers, my policy is to remember that all good lies contain a large amount of truth, so I base my fiction on truth, it is more believable that way.
BREW Question: Who are the authors or what are the books that had the greatest influence on your own writing? Why?
Author’s Response: As I write in the first person, generally in the present tense too and by immersing myself in the moment I am writing about, there are few authors I can relate my own work to. As a teenager I loved The Hardy Boys series and anything by Louis Lamour. As an adult I have loved Earnest Hemingway, Harold Robbins, Alexandra Fuller, Peter Godwin and Doris Lessing. Most recently, I admire the way J K Rowling is able to create and maintain suspense while telling a cracking yarn. My whole reading life, I have loved the quirkiness of Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss.
BREW Question: What are your current or future writing plans? What can readers further expect from you?
Author’s Response: I would love to do a very long road trip through and around Australia and chronicle the characters that I hope to find, especially in more remote parts.
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***The author or publisher provided the above write-up.