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Writers Inspiring Change feature author: Michael Mardel

I have been writing for schools since 2005. I began with ‘Walkabout Dreaming’ as there seemed little in schools about the Aborigines. I have lived in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. For the last 3 ½ years I have been in Broome, Western Australia, 4,000 kilometers away. I am married and have one dog to mind as the other one is on a sheep farm and has lots of room to run. My wife has three grown-up children. The youngest is married and he and his wife have two daughters. My mother is still going at nearly ninety-six and one of my sisters looks after her. I am busy reviewing books for other writers and haven’t started anything new yet. There’s a lot of work in the garden but we hope all the fruit trees will reward us.

What prompted you to become a writer?

As I said, there was a dearth of material in schools on Aborigines. One time I went to two seminars and after that I wrote sustainability texts. One of those is ‘Growing your Own’ which is available on Amazon.

What do your readers like about your writing?

My book, The Seahorse Tale: A Mermaid and a Seahorse, has had very nice reviews. Readers expressed that they liked the fantasy of reincarnation, travelling with a mermaid and their conversations. This is one review received:

Michael Mardel’s A Seahorse Tale is the first YA and middle school style book I’ve ever reviewed. As such, I took my time and really dove headfirst into this story, and what I found was quite amazing. In this story Mardel creates a fantastic fantasy land in which he not only entertains both children and adults alike with his creative creations, but he implements a tale of philosophical proportions – bringing to light the various cultural beliefs, from Christianity and mythology to Darwinism, the author blends these cultures together and implements them in his story expertly. – AA

Is there a message weaved into your writing?

The trilogy for Paul O’Leary relates to my adventures travelling to Broome, living on a sheep farm and going overseas. The relationship that Paul has with his father is one that I would have enjoyed if my father had lived – he died when I was just seven. “Frack off” is about people protesting fracking and the diverse people who join in. “A Cowboy Downunder” returns Paul to Broome and working on a cattle station. Again, fracking plays a part.

How do you inspire others with and through your writing?

A lot of description and using the Emotion thesaurus and Positive Traits thesaurus.

Tell us about your most recent book(s) and why you wrote it.

‘A Cowboy Downunder: A Mystery and a Romance’. This latest book is set on a cattle station which covers a wide area. I used the Roebuck station as a starting point. I also wanted to weave in a romance as that is popular. The mystery is about the apparent death of a wedding guest, police involvement and the boys training to be jackeroos or cowboys. This is a YA story, highlighting four boys, sixteen plus years of age, on a cattle station a day’s drive out of Broome in the Kimberley. They are well looked after and the catering sisters have romance in their eyes. They also offer wedding parties though one doesn’t end so well, or does it? The boys get used to riding horses and gelding cattle and even get a turn at mastering a helicopter until some frackers fire at them. All in all, not a bad life except for the sore thighs from riding horses for the first time in their lives.

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