Who is he? Is he a kangaroo? Does he live in a rain forest? Does he eat possums? Or children?! What does the encyclopaedia say? ‘Quong was a creature of the olden olden days, even before grandmother. He was a short fellow, with long, thin legs and an even longer, thinner tail. His face was fat and wrinkly, and big bushy eyebrows kept out the sun and flies. He lived far away from anywhere, especially where you live.’ Well, that’s encouraging, except that the encyclopaedia said “was” and “was” and “was”. And “lived”. Not “is”. Or “lives”. So? Well, Lissie Pendle is an “is” kind of girl, who “lives” in the country, and who “knows” that there are quongs, and that they must live near where she lives. And she will find them. And, being the kind of girl she is, she will allow some boys to come along with her. As long as they do what they’re told. What Rebecca wrote: Rebecca, from Wangaratta wrote: I was the first one of the kids [in our family] to read it. I read it the day after we got it. My favourite character was Quong because he is silly and funny. The best part of the book was chapter 7, “Across the River” where Snuffledropper drops us in it and goes...I would recommend the book to other kids. It’s got all funny names for animals and other creatures.
Ian is the fourth generation in his family to become a published author, his maternal grandfather, Bernard Capes, Bernard's uncle,and Bernard's son, Renalt, preceding him.
Ian’s own writing began in secondary school, and extended into comedy sketches and lyrics for the stage in his early twenties. Later he found himself writing for the Education Department, and, after going into private practice, writing reports, proposals, and scripts for training videos and some television commercials.
The catalyst for fiction writing was a story a colleague told him one day about a bunch of kids riding home on the back of a huge horse, which insisted on walking through a dam!
This led to his first book, Scratcher (1987).
Since then he has written and published Lissie Pendle, The Search for Quong, Ranga Plays Australia, The Day and Night Machine, Possum and Python, Twevven and the big bigger biggest baby burp, and Twevven in a very dangerous situation for children and, for adults, Thomas Bulford’s English Companion, Thomas Bulford’s Essays on Life, Language & Love, Ranga Plays Australia, and The Alone Man.
Ian is active in his local community, having being involved in Scouting for more than thirty years, founded a Friends environmental rehabilitation group and is an active member of another, was President of a badminton association for seven years, and has arranged for a group of family and friends to provide long-term support to third-world women seeking financial assistance to grow their businesses. He received a Commonwealth Community Australia Day Award in 2006.
He has three adult children and nine grand-children.
Currently he is Chairman of Fairy Green Australia Pty Ltd, a company dedicated to inspiring and connecting the children of the world through an internet project titled The Great Hall of Dreams.read more