The Mouth that Roared
‘The Mouth That Roared’ (Wild Dingo Press, June, 2017) A collaboration with legendary youth worker Les Twentyman. “Les is a legend, a true guardian angel in the wilds of Western suburbia where so many are forgotten or maligned. Filled with his characteristic humour, wit and knack for telling a good tale, this is a book that should be read by policy makers, politicians and opinion columnists.” Alice Pung.’ And: “Les Twentyman’s memoir is funny, honest and inspiring. His memories of growing up in the western suburbs are warm and wonderful.” Paul Kennedy, ABC presenter and author.’
I write collaborations in the voice of the person whose story is being told. Creating the voice on the page calls for a certain amount of trial-and-error. Mimicry won’t do. The task is to fashion a more supple voice that the living voice of the collaborator; one that will serve to carry the story north, south, east and west. The created voice must also preserve the natural cadence of the collaborator’ speech. If I get the cadence right, I have the compass.
Winner of the 2005 Australian National Biography Award ‘A miniature masterpiece’ Gerard Windsor
– My Life as a Traitor, Scribe Publications, 2007: “The theocratic Iranian state fears the spirit of women and seeks to crush it…some are crushed, others… rise like a phoenix…Brilliant, heart-rending and life-affirming.” Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
– : ‘Short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, 2008’
“I was greatly moved when I read this book. Its importance and its power lies in the fact that is the story of all refugees.” Julian Burnside
I ghost books for people with a story to tell who see some benefit in having another person – a professional writer – create their narratives. The ethics of ghost writing could never be itemised in a Ghost Manifesto; they are too slippery for that. The subject may wish for lighting effects that reveal his or her more commendable features, and that’s exactly what I provide. Up to a point. Usually, the subject can be counselled to abandon an heroic posture for the sake of the story. As the tale unfolds, the subject sees patterns of behaviour revealed in a way that he or she had never noticed before. And after a half dozen chapters, the story begins to cast a type a spell. Few of us ever see our lives fashioned to fit between the covers of a book. For the subject of the ghosted book, reading the final draft through from cover to cover seems to enhance the validity of everything he or she has ever done. “This is me. This is the real me. This is destiny.”