FORMER Patchewollock resident and celebrated author Fleur Ferris has been putting pen to paper her whole life.
“I’ve been writing since I was eight, but I didn’t think about writing seriously until I was 23,” she said.
“I didn’t share my work with anyone until I had written five books.”
She said her upbringing on a Wimmera Mallee sheep and wheat farm was idyllic.
“Everyday we’d travel to school in Hopetoun; we had a great upbringing,” she said.
“We had so much freedom and I wanted the same thing for my children.
“That’s why we now live on a rice farm in Bunnaloo (NSW).”
Having previously worked as a police officer and paramedic means Ms Ferris has experience dealing with the darker side of humanity.
That expertise came in handy when she wrote her first published novel, Risk – a young-adult fiction novel about the dangers of online bullying.
Risk is now taught in secondary schools to students in Years 7 to 10.
“I never consciously thought about writing young-adult fiction until Risk was picked up by publishers,” she said.
“But the characters I’m interested in writing about are all that age.”
Since then, Ms Ferris has written two other young-adult novels – Black and Wreck.
Ms Ferris is now about to release her fourth published novel, the young-adult mystery Found.
The story follows 17-year-old Beth, who lives in the small rural town of Deni. Beth’s biggest problem is telling her protective and fiercely private father that she has a boyfriend, but her life is turned upside down when her father mysteriously disappears.
“Found is a pacey mystery, thriller with lots of high stakes action, suspense and a bit of romance,” she said.
“It’s set in a small NSW town – I was influenced by some real life things, but a lot of it came from my imagination.”
Found will be released nationally on July 2.