Paul de Guingand sits down with Little Steps

March 4th, 2024
Tell us about yourself – where did you grow up? 
  • Grew up in Melbourne, and lived most of my life here, apart from a year each in Tokyo, Newcastle, Perth, and for several years in Tasmania. 
  • I travelled a lot for my first career in the merchant navy, and then again in my main and very different career as a manager of logistics. I did this in several different roles – including heading up supply chain for everyone’s favourite store - Bunnings.
 Describe your writing style in one sentence? 
  • I like rhythms in verse, and try to put together evocative descriptions in fun rhymes, that bumble and jumble along in telling a story. 
 Tell us about your book? 
  • Deb (my wife) and I were out bushwalking and enjoying the bush, but reflecting on some of the challenges that many young people have about their own self image and self worth. 
  • We then wondered if animals might ever envy another animals ability to fly, jump, burrow or swim – and whether they ever wished they were themselves something else.
  • The idea of The Buffalemu, was simply built on that – an emu that felt uncomfortable in her own skin, and wished she was bigger, tougher, and better – so that other animals would like and respect her more…
  • I wanted to gently tell a story that wove a little adventure of discovering self worth, and mates helping mates.
 Who has influenced you the most in your writing? 
  • I feel that what I write is inspired most by imagining Banjo Patterson and Dr Seuss sharing a nice bottle of red wine, and discussing the Australian outback.
 If you could take one book away with you to a desert island which book would lit be? 
  • I read very widely, so I find one book extremely difficult to consider. I have therefore stretched this to be a series (or two): Patrick O’Brian’s series of 20 books – Master and Commander, or Lois McMaster Bujold’s series – the Vorkosigan series. 
  • If it had to be just one book, I’d make it a big one, so Lord of the Rings…
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 
  • Just start, and make it about something that interests you. If someone, somewhere, likes it, then you have succeeded. 
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