Fallacious Rose, not her real name, started to write when she was about 8.
“I suppose I was an isolated (not necessarily lonely), bullied kid who read constantly,” she says. “So writing seemed like a natural progression. I always felt as if writing was part of my core purpose in life.”
She is concerned that she might sound too ‘up herself’ as if she was born for it but she feels that it has probably her only real talent.
To earn a living, she worked in what she describes as’the land of the living dead’, in reality the Australian public service.
“I worked for years, and couldn’t devote much time to writing at all. Recently I’ve worked as a carer and cleaner for the elderly, but now I’ve retired to write full time and it’s great! I get about 5-6 hours a day! Of course three quarters of that is spent trying to convince people to buy my stuff, but…”
Her books span a range of different genres, fiction for children, paranormal thriller romance, humour, modern fairytale, short story.
“I don’t have a favourite genre,” she says. “I’m restless, I get bored easily and I like the challenge of writing different things. That said, I couldn’t bring myself to write softcore romance or formulaic stuff: it would feel to me like disrespecting the art of writing, or words, or even my own talent, such as it is. Not that I see myself as the new Tolstoy or anything like that – I know I’m relatively mediocre – but I do see my writing as having a meaning beyond itself, and definitely not something to be just hashed together for money. That said, I did try once or twice to be commercial – it didn’t feel right.”
Her modesty masks the fact that her writing is often very clever and is delightful to read. But it is more difficult to find an audience when you are writing in so many other genres.
“Everyone who reads one book and goes ‘oh yeah I like that, now where’s another one of the same sort’ goes away disappointed. But I do have a brand – I call it ‘weird’. If you dig Fallacious Rose, it’s because you like weird stuff – writing that is original, imaginative (if I say so myself) and not in the usual way. If you don’t, that’s fine by me.
She’s just released three books: Lady Charlotte’s Dilemma, a not-so-serious Regency Vampyre novel; What Are You Afraid Of? (a collection of chilling, but largely gore-free horror stories), and Utopia Pending, a collection of short stories by twelve different speculative fiction authors (including her) around the theme of a brighter future. But what of her writing in this brighter future?
“I’m still tinkering with my horror stories. I bore my daughter silly with conversational openings such as ‘so I’ve got this situation where people get eaten by a giant alien anteater thing…’
“I want to write a sort of political thriller about a scenario where Australia is cut off from the rest of the world by some kind of major war, our democracy is destroyed, and a ‘Prince Harry’ figure takes over the reins, a bit like Churchill in WW2. I’d like to explore the implications of a return to royal leadership, and society’s need for a hero and what it would be like to actually be a hero these days.”