Biographies

 

Christine Bayly

Born in South Africa, Christine joined the Noosa Writers in 2013 and immediately added an extra dimension and depth to their group. Her imagination seems to know no bounds and her stories remain in your head and heart long after you have read them. Christine uses her strong observational skills and the ability to see the minutia of all that is around us managing to put the world into slow motion and the reader in awe of her writing. She lives with her husband Geoff and two children who, in their own way, give her plenty of material for her stories!

 

Maria Benson

Born in Scotland, Maria immigrated with her family to Australia in ’68. The second eldest of ten children, she attended Ballarat High School, but left at fifteen to help contribute to the family and got her first job in a newsagent in Ararat.

An avid reader from a young age, Maria took up writing later in life as a hobby, (Tales with a twist her favourite genre) and is currently working on two novels. She has two children and lives and works in Tewantin.

 

Grayham Bickley

Born in the UK, Grayham was educated at The Foley Art College which instilled in him a long search for the right artistic outlet. Immigrating to Australia in 1967. The search took him into the realms of professional acting which sparked his interest in writing. Following a career in marketing, Grayham and his wife Judith moved to Corooy, where they still live with their dog Riley.

After receiving a lung transplant in 2004 he found that the search was pursuing him. Since this time he has been writing short stories and poems and is trying to complete his first novel. His other interest is photography.

Grayham’s story Cover Shot recently won third prize in the Noosa Today’s short story competition.

 

Celia Esplin

The seed of Celia's spirited imagination was borne from a childhood of travel and adventure.

Born in the UK to a military family, her journey to Australia came via boarding schools in England, a French Convent in Belgium, time on the ancient island of Cyprus and the striking west coast of Africa.

Settling in Australia in 1965, her marriage furthered the creative journey taking her further afield to the Seychelles, Taiwan, Kenya and Abu Dhabi. Celia's sense of fun has drawn her to discover her niche which is children's poetry.

The diversity of her background and child-like free spirit drives the words to the pages; creating images which appeal to children of all ages from two to 99! Celia and her husband, Brian, now live on the Sunshine Coast where they run their own aviation business.

Besides the child within, her greatest inspiration these days comes from the eyes of her grandchildren and their combined fascination of the world around them.

 

Jo Fagan

Jo was born where the Snowy River joins the sea--in Orbost, Victoria. From there she lived in Melbourne, Sydney then Brisbane. She and her husband moved to Noosa in 1996. Jo attended her first writing tutorial in May 2005. Since then she has written many short stories, three novels and contributed to two anthologies - a vast change from working for charities and teaching children who have impaired hearing to speak.

Today, she enjoys the company of one husband, two poodles, (Ollie and Johnnie Walker), three sons, two extended family and ten grandchildren who wander through her pages.

 

 

Sheila Mason

Sheila was born in the heart of the English countryside. Choosing a career in engineering as a draughtswoman, she journeyed to Africa in her early 20s. Eventually settling back in England after travelling back and forth to Africa with her Australian journalist husband, Peter, and their two sons, Sheila turned her hand to painting and writing, initially as a hobby. Now, after ten years of calling Noosa home, that hobby has turned into a full-time occupation!

In the mid-1980s she threw in her lot with Peter’s newly-formed hot air balloon company, which they ran together for 20 years. It was an exciting period of globe-trotting and record-breaking which took them to some of the world’s most mysterious, exotic and out-of-the-way locations - among them Wadi Rum and Petra, in the Jordanian desert; the Grand Canyon, Red Square, the Taj Mahal, Niagara Falls, Mount Fuji, and the Himalayas, where Sheila helped organise – and was mission controller – for the world’s one and only balloon flight over Mount Everest.

Writing under the pseudonym of Rebecca S Mason, Sheila has seriously been putting words together, creatively, for about twenty years. And whilst admitting that most of those words and ideas often stay rattling around her brain some have, eventually, made their way onto paper! Rebecca’s motto has to be, ‘you’re never too old’, and she proves that regularly by writing lots of short stories and working, intermittently, on her autobiography as well as her novel, ‘Shimla’, set in India, which she hopes to finish one fine day!

Frozen in Time is the fourth published anthology of short stories containing Sheila’s stories and poems – but, she says, it’s not the last! Previous anthologies include: When Pelicans Turn Blue, Dead Elephant in the Surf, and Dead Elephant in the Bazaar.

 

Kerri McDonald

Kerri was born in NSW, raised and educated in QLD, and moved to WA in 1986. After twenty-five years in the IT industry, she escaped from city-life with her husband Dave, and moved to a farm in southwest WA. There she discovered a passion for writing children's stories after watching their city-bred poodle confront her first sheep.

She completed a Masters in Creative Writing through the University of Canberra in 2009.

Kerri and Dave moved back to sunny Queensland in 2011 with their scallywag dog, Cassie.

Her novel Time Conspiracy won third prize at the annual CYA conference competition. She has written two other children's novels and two picture book stories and is currently trying to find a publishing home for them all.