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Backtracks books donated to local aged care facilities

This week I donated fifteen copies of Backtracks: Recollections of Remarkable Australians to local aged care facilities.

Many aged care facilities in Australia have small libraries or reading rooms, but no budgets to purchase books. All of the facilities were very grateful for my donation. At one local facility I heard of a woman who had once dined with Walt Disney, and with Queen Elizabeth, at dinner parties in her younger years. Please consider donating a new book to an aged care facility near you.

2017 speaking engagements

I have a number of speaking engagements scheduled for 2017. Please contact the appropriate organisation if you would like to attend.


30 January 6pm for 6:30pm Rotary Club of Canterbury, 2 Rochester Rd, Canterbury

7 February  10am  Camberwell Probus Club, St Faith's Anglican Church, 8 Charles St, Glen Iris

24 February 11am Combined Probus Club of Tunstall, Nunawading Uniting Church, corner Whitehorse Rd and O'Shannessey St, Nunawading

Camberwell Dymocks Booklover VIP Christmas event

The Camberwell Dymocks Booklover VIP Christmas event is happening this Thursday, from 6 to 8 pm, at The Well.

I'll be selling and signing copies of Backtracks, and fourteen other authors will also be there ready to sign their books too.

More information is available at the following link:

A brief moment with Jodi Picoult

I was lucky enough to be able to give Jodi Picoult a copy of Backtracks at tonight's Dymock's Literary Club event in Camberwell.

Jodi was here to speak about her new book, Small Great Things. It was an interesting evening, with a very big crowd of about 200 people. The publication of her book, the subject of which is race and prejudice, is very timely, given recent events in the US presidential election. 

Backtracks book at the Little Free Library at Peaks of Otter, USA

Two weeks ago, while travelling along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, USA, I came across a Little Free Library.

This one was located at the Peaks of Otter Lodge. I left one of my Backtracks books at the library. Since returning to Australia, I’ve looked up the Little Free Library, an American movement that started small in 2009 and now has over 40,000 little libraries around the world.

It is a great cause and, having surpassed their initial goal of building 2,510 Little Free Libraries, as many libraries as the Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, they continue to promote literacy and the love of reading by helping people, and communities, build Little Free Libraries around the world.

Check out their website for more information:

Upcoming speaking engagements

I have a number of future speaking engagements. Please contact the appropriate organisation if you would like to attend.

3 August  10am12 pm   Probus Club of Chatham, Salvation Army Citadel, Bowen St, Camberwell
9 August  9:30am–12pm  Probus Club of Mount Martha, Mount Martha House, Dominion Rd, Mt Martha
11 August  10am–12pm  Probus Club of Blackburn Central, Manchester Unity Hall, 8 Main St, Blackburn
14 October  10am–12pm  Probus Club of Mont Albert, Box Hill RSL Club, 26 Nelson Rd, Box Hill
2 November  10am–12pm  Combined Probus Club of Blackburn South, City of Whitehorse Horticultural Centre, 82 Jolimont Rd, Forest Hill

7 February  10am–12pm  Camberwell Probus Club, St Faith's Anglican Church, 8 Charles St, Glen Iris

Backtracks: Recollections of Remarkable Australians

The Backtracks book will be available later this year! Check back in August for a Sales tab on the Billycan Press website to purchase your copy of Backtracks.

‘The sail just lifted me up ... over the edge of the sail, hanging on with two hands. That was nearly my last day at sea.’ Captain Donald L Garnham

 ‘I came over on the ferry from Manly going to work the next morning ... one of the two thousand passengers on board a very crowded ferry. I was reading the latest bestseller called Gone with the Wind. Not one single person even noticed that the Kuttabul’s funnel was just sticking up out of the water. It wasn’t until later in the day that we found out what had happened during the night.' Jean Nysen (McKenzie) WR-87

Backtracks: Recollections of Remarkable Australians is a collection of engaging stories told by those who have witnessed the best, and the worst, of Australia. Each Backtracks chapter focuses on an interview with a single person. Joely Taylor integrates their interviews seamlessly into each story and takes the reader on a journey across Australia, and across time. From sailing aboard a four-masted barque in 1936 to witnessing the West Gate Bridge disaster in 1970, Backtracks captures the history behind some of Australia’s most iconic places and interesting people, brings to life the challenges and the reality of life in Australia and celebrates the real Australia for what, and more importantly who, it is.

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