|Written by Chris Dowding|
grew up: Nambour and Redland Bay
family: my wife, Kerryn and a neurotic black cat called Mia
daytime: Director and Structural Engineer for Tod Consulting on the Sunshine Coast
interesting things I've done:
music I like: Beatles, Paul McCartney, REM, U2, Kylie Minogue, Van Morrison, Spice Girls (I can hear you laughing now)
movies: Star Wars (the original 3 episodes), Back the Future, Matrix Trilogy, Lord of the Rings, Shrek, Shrek 2, Jason Bourne trilogy
sport: I can be coaxed into playing the odd game of soccer, touch footy and backyard cricket
I loved reading Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven stories. The adventures in these books were great fun. At age twelve, I wrote a sequel Famous Five novel. I'm afraid I am still waiting for a publisher to take the project to completion.
Most of the books I read over the following years were in the fantasy genre - Tolkien's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, The Magician by Raymond E Feist and, more recently, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I liked science fiction books like Mars by Ben Bova. I tried writing a few science fiction stories for English assignments at high school, but generally, my teachers didn't appreciate my efforts.
I also loved the books written by James Herriot, which detailed his life as a country vet in the Yorkshire Dales and was the basis for the TV series, All Creatures Great and Small.
I became interested in travel books later on. Like fiction stories, these books are set far away from my normal life, but also have the advantage that I can actually visit them myself! I've enjoyed books by Bill Bryson (Notes from a small Island, Down Under, The Lost Continent), Paul Theroux (Pillars of Hercules), the late Pete McCarthy (McCarthy's Bar, The Road to McCarthy), Sarah McDonald (Holy Cow), Jonathon Harley (Lost in Transmission), Sarah Darmody (Ticket to Ride - Lost and Found in America), Samantha Wood (Culua: My Other Life in Mexico), Sarah Turnbull (Almost French) and Peter Moore (Vroom with a View, Vroom by the Sea).