How I Got Here
I'm a Tokyo-based international school principal and writer who left Australia over 30 years ago on a surfing trip and didn't yet realize that not all journeys come to an end. My writing has focussed on ideas encountered on my travels, at work, at home, and in the water. The experience of raising two wonderful daughters, my greatest adventure, has always been in the background and has been the most significant influence on my writing.
These days, when I am not at work, I try to carve out some time for surfing and cycling with the writing generally taken care of on the go. You will find below a series of novels and more recently some advice for parents based on my experiences as a teacher and principal in international schools which you may like to check out.
I'm currently working on a novel about a coffin-maker and her apprentice set in late 15th-century Germany. Her life is somewhat complicated by the fact that her coffins are carefully prepared before the death, before anyone could have known. To the Church, this has the stench of heresy so an Inquisition agent is dispatched. I'm still finding out how this is all going to end.
My works below are available on Amazon and other online retailers!
PORTFOLIO OF WORK
Past. Present. Future.
The following is a collection of my books, fiction and non-fiction. Each one represents a unique moment in my life so in this sense, listed together in this way, tell their own story. I hope you enjoy the ideas they explore and the questions they raise. I'd love to hear what you think.
Your lessons from a life in the water
Non-fiction - Journal (2023)
Learn a little bit more about yourself as a person and as a surfer. Use the series of quotes in this journal to spark some insight. You will find 52 quotes, one for every week of the year. Something to keep you busy on the flat days! May you surf all the days of your life!
RISK OF MY DESIGN
Non-Fiction, 2nd in the 'Global Child' series (2021)
If you thought parenting was going to be easy, you did not read the fine print. There is no escaping the risks our children will encounter in their journeys through life; the physical dangers, the emotional turmoils, the social labyrinths, the academic quagmires, and the intellectual wastelands, and this is just primary school. It gets worse. Parents are confronted by a paradox. We feel that we need to protect our children from risk while also preparing them to be independent enough to face an uncertain future and, yes, we want them to leave home one day! We need to reconcile this seemingly irreconcilable contradiction but without an instruction manual. One approach that may help is to reconsider risk as a potential ally, rather than an adversary. We can design risk to help rather than hinder our journey as risk in all its forms is linked to learning for our children and for ourselves.
CONVERSATIONS FOR A GLOBAL CHILD
Non-Fiction, 1st in the 'Global Child' series (2020)
Is your child ready for the global world they are about to enter? Conversations for a Global Child helps parents on their journey to prepare children to be happy and successful in this new, interconnected world. The journey we examine is not about what a child needs to know but about the person they need to become. It is about the connections we have with people close to us as well as with those in more distant communities, in other parts of the world. To begin, we need to ask ourselves who we want our children to be. Using examples from Japan and other places Conversations for a Global Child explores this incredibly important question for parents and examines how we can support our children through everyday conversations at home.
グローバル チャイルド: グローバルな子供を育てるには
Non-Fiction, 2nd in the グローバル チャイルド series, Japanese edition (2020)
あなたのお子様は、グローバルな世界に入る準備はできていますか？グローバル チャイルドは、相互に関連し合う新しい世界で子供たちが幸せで成功できるよう、ご両親をお手伝いします。私たちが考える道のりとは、子供が何を知るべきかではなく、どのような人になるべきかなのです。要するに身近な人々や遠く離れた世界の他の地域の人々とのつながりが重要なのです。まず初めに、自分の子供がどのような人になって欲しいのか自問してみてください。日本や他の国々の例を使用して、グローバル チャイルドは、こちらのご両親にとって非常に重要な質問を調査し、家庭での日常会話を通じて当社がどのように子供たちをサポートできるのかお調べいたします。
THE SILENCE OF AZUL
Everyone is born into a time and place and none of it is our fault.
Azul’s voice fled as bombs fell from a clear blue sky. Her family shattered when the death and the violence of war entered their peaceful world. Cut adrift from everything they had once known, the family find themselves clinging to the ones who survived, hoping that their ordeal is over. Yet, for a refugee, the bombs are just the beginning. No matter how far they flee, shadows from the violence follow close behind. Yet hope is found in the most unlikely places as a people set adrift by war find that together, lives can be rebuilt, voices can be found. A reminder of how fragile, yet stubbornly resilient, the idea of home can be.
SHADOW OF THE PHARM
Novel, 2nd in the 'Pharm' series (2015)
Barely escaping the Pharm with their lives, the three fugitives must now do the unthinkable; return to save the child donors. Lord Henry, Chloe the Great, and Hana, realizing that nowhere will ever be safe for them as long as they live within the shadow of the Pharm, enter the walls one last time. Just as all seems lost, allies are found in an unexpected quarter. The fiercely independent Freeborn, who have been hunted within the Pharm walls for generations, join the fugitives to settle an ancient score. Driven by the nightmares they have all experienced at the hands of the savage institution, for the fugitives and the Freeborn, redemption will only ever be found within the burning rubble of the Pharm.
LIFE OF THE PHARM
Novel, 1st in the 'Pharm' series (2014)
The Pharm is an economic miracle; for eighty years, the sole producer of Genetically Modified organs, saving countless lives across the globe. Inside its impregnable walls, staring through razor wire, Number 987, a curious organ donor, waits patiently for his expiration date, wondering if there is more to him than the two tattoos adorning his wrist; dates of birth and harvest. Chloe, a rare un-medicated child, lives in fear of being repurposed as a donor when her parents find out that she is only pretending to take her pills. Hana, the militant midwife, a reluctant worker in the Pharm's breeding program, waits patiently to strike a blow at the brutal industry she is forced to serve. Three lives interconnect, as they struggle to maintain their basic humanity. As they fight back, the Pharm begins to realize that it may have underestimated the power of the un-medicated human spirit.
Owen, growing up in a silent house, hearing whispers from a long-dead centurion, knows more than is healthy for a fifteen-year-old boy, yet perhaps just enough to save himself and his family when he finds that there are people who have been awaiting his arrival; the child with the memories, the child who hears the whispers. With his hometown in Wales under siege, pursued by an unseen enemy, Owen uses his borrowed memories to trace the centurion’s perilous journey back into the heart of Egypt, only to discover that this was just the beginning. Owen must use the knowledge and skills of this deadly, renegade centurion to survive a relentless pursuit to the birthplace of an ancient mystery.
A FEW SAMPLE BLOG POSTS
Click on the posts to access the blog posts - a random assortment of thoughts that continue to influence my writing.
Areas of Interest
RELATED MEDIA LINKS
Area Guide - Honkomagome
Interview about Aoba's new Senior School Bunkyo Campus by the Honkomagome Area Guide as an introduction to local residents.
スペシャルインタビュー 生徒主体のフレキシブルな環境で、国際基準の教育を実践する「アオバジャパン・インターナショナルスクール 文京キャンパス」
Thank you for visiting my Author Portfolio. Please get in touch if you have any comments or questions.