I grew up on a Queensland cattle property and have worked as a newspaper journalist since 1989. When at Brisbane’s Courier-Mail I wrote about and reviewed books, music and live entertainment, and still occasionally review books for the Herald Sun.
I now live in Ballarat, Australia, with my wife, and fellow writer, Kirstyn McDermott.
In 2011-15, I was the editor for Queensland Writers Centre’s magazine Writing Queensland, and also provide freelance editing, proofing and manuscript appraisal services.
I’ve written four novels (the first expanded from a novella written with my then girlfriend Mil Clayton; it has also sold to Germany) and more than 20 short stories. Please see the bibliography page for my publishing history.
- In 2019, I was conferred with a PhD (research) in creative writing, centred on climate change fiction, from The University of Queensland.
- In 2008, I was conferred with a Master of Arts (research) in creative writing, with a focus on Australian vampire Gothic, from the Queensland University of Technology.
- I graduated from what is now Central Queensland University in Rockhampton with a BA with distinction in 1989.
- My wife and I founded Words Out Loud, a monthly spoken word event in Ballarat, in 2016, and continue to run it.
- I’ve served on the committee of Ballarat Writers as communications officer, and helped establish the weekly Write Club that still runs.
- I was director of the Aurealis Awards in 2004 and have served on various judging panels as convenor and member.
- I maintain memberships with the Australian Society of Authors, Queensland Writers Centre, Writers Victoria, Ballarat Writers and the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance.
Workshops, panels and presentations
- I have run workshops on aspects of writing for Logan libraries and Bundaberg’s WriteFest, been a guest at events including literary festivals including the Brisbane WF, Melbourne WF, Newcastle WF and Emerging WF, and been a panellist at many genre conventions, including the World Science Fiction Convention, World Fantasy Convention, Continuum, Conflux and Conjure.
- I’ve also presented at academic conferences in Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane and Auckland.
I’ve been a guest on radio in Brisbane, Melbourne and Ballarat, and on podcasts. Here’s a sample:
- Vampires in Film, Books and Arts Daily, ABC Radio, 8 February 2013
- Dracula, 4ZZZ Book Club, 23 July 2012
- Galactic Chat #28, with Mark Webb, 30 August 2013
- Slither (CDDU vol2): finalist in Aurealis Awards for best horror short story; finalist in the Australian Shadows award for best horror short story.
- Dust Eaters (unpublished), 2nd place in the Creative Writing Showcase 2016, WiP Conference, University of Queensland
- The Big Smoke: finalist in Australian Shadows award for best horror novel
- Salvage: Chronos award for best novel; finalist in Ditmar awards for best novel; finalist in Aurealis Awards for best horror novel
- Blood and Dust: finalist in Aurealis Awards for best horror novel; finalist in Australian Shadows award for best horror novel
- Mornington Ride (Epilogue): Chronos award for best short story; finalist for WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction
- My critical papers were placegetters in the 2016 AAWP Postgraduate Prize for a Theoretical/Critical Paper and The Dr John McCulloch Memorial Prize 2016 at the Work in Progress Conference, UQ St Lucia, 2016
- My 2004 article in the Courier-Mail, ‘Why are publishers afraid of horror?’, won the William Atheling Jnr Award for Criticism or Review