Research Is an Inspiration

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), April 5, 2014 | Go to article overview

Research Is an Inspiration


Byline: Angela Norval

AUTHOR Pamela Rushby is the epitome of what the Voices on the Coast Festival is all about.

Having been an avid reader for as long as she can remember and with clear memories of wanting to become a writer from the age of six, Pamela is eager to share her enthusiasm during her festival sessions.

As I talk with Pamela, fresh from a swim in her favourite thinking area, her backyard pool, I am touched by her humility and passion for what she does.

Here is a writer who has won many awards including the Ethel Turner Prize for young people's literature as part of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2010 and she is warm and engaging, never forgetting where she has come from.

Pamela had a convoluted journey to becoming a published author, with her first job as a copywriter for David Jones before moving into television advertising and even training as a pre-school teacher.

As well as studying ancient history, journalism and art history, Pamela wrote, directed and produced for educational TV before branching into writing and producing multimedia.

Writing scripts then turned into having books published and as they say, the rest is history.

Pamela has over 150 published works to her name for both children and young adults; an age group she said allows her to get really involved in the story.

With titles including The Horses Didn't Come Home, Flora's War, When the Hipchicks Went to War and The Ratcatcher's Daughter, it is clear a number of Pamela's books are based on significant historical moments.

From the Vietnam era to Egypt at the outset of the First World War, Pamela's writing involves a great deal of research to bring these historical moments to life through her fictional characters, research she says she loves.

"The research is the best part and is often something I have to draw myself away from," she said.

"Although the more fascinating things that I find out, the different direction that the books can take, one fact can make a novel change direction. …

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