With a successful blog and two self-published books. Paula Barnes is an Australian who has lived through seven expat postings over 15 years. “I have three beautiful children, who are all now living, working and studying in Australia. In my past life, I was an Adult Educator; however, now I am a full-time lifestyle and travel blogger,” says Paula.
Paula’s writing journey began during her time in Kuala Lumpur. With two out of three children at boarding school, she had more time on her hands to rekindle her love of reading and writing. Starting as a hobby, Paula’s blog soon turned into a full-time passion and her website trulyexpat.com was launched in 2019.
Paula is so glad she joined the ANZA writing group, as it’s given her the inspiration she needs after each meeting. “As a writer we choose to be in solitude most of the time, so having people around you to bounce ideas off, or help with clarification on some techniques is amazing. It gives me the confidence to keep plugging along on this journey,” says Paula.
Russell Darnley has been involved in the ANZA Writing Group for over six years. He finds writing a solitary, sometimes lonely pursuit and the group has provided a network of friends, colleagues, and a critical yet supportive audience.
Russell recently released his memoir, Beyond Borders which chronicles 26 years spent living and working in Asia. Stories unfold in Australia, Malaysia, Indonesian, Singapore and Timor L’Este. “Beyond Borders is 21 stories of creative non-fiction, beginning during my 1950s childhood and concluding in 2019. It’s divided into Childhood and Beyond, Youthful Years, and Adult Years,” says Russell.
Russell created not just a book but a multimedia work, combining text, photo galleries, free-standing images, video, a little music, and the audio version of each story. A platform of bonus content, and back stories, is accessible from a link.
Beyond Borders is available from Apple Books and from Amazon Kindle. There is also a PDF version at russelldarnley.blog
Kristen Hobby’s involvement in the ANZA Writing Group began in early 2020, when she joined with Russell to restart the group after an 18-month hiatus. “Covid and its subsequent lockdowns and restrictions seemed the perfect time to resume my love of words and writing. I began by presenting a four-part series on memoir writing and we are currently exploring how to write gripping fiction.
For Kristen, the ANZA Writing Group has been a fun and supportive way to connect with other writers and try out some new writing exercises and genres. Kristen has also put the finishing touches on her own self-published book, Unplugged: How to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other. As a parent and researcher, Kristen doesn’t have all the answers but she wanted to share resources and strategies that might help families reconnect with themselves, each other and the larger world. “I wanted to take the most helpful things that I have learnt and put them together in a book designed for parents who are seeking that deeper connection with their children”.
Kristen’s book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.
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