About Me

Here's a little about who I am

I've been writing since the age of nine, and I've been a train enthusiast for just as long. Somehow both of those things just get in your blood. Growing up within sight and sound of the railway line in Gosford north of Sydney, Australia, I've now called the Sunshine Coast home for the past decade. In all that time, I've noticed a lot of the ordinary things we once took for granted disappear. None more so than our railway history.

On the way to becoming the author of four novels, I never lost my love for anything that runs on rails. When a publishing deal came to an end for me in 2012 that could easily have spelled the end of my writing career, I started writing about trains instead. The four Train Tripping eBooks that followed saw me nominated in the 2015 Global eBook Awards. In 2016 I produced my first full-colour book, a photographic memoir of a railway enthusiast entitled 30 Years Chasing Trains. Sadly the trains, railway stations and relics from yesteryear that I remembered from a young age are fast disappearing, confined solely to the pages of books such as mine.

In the decade that has passed since the independent release of my first novel The Long Way Home, I've amassed 16 releases, none of which have troubled any New York Times Bestsellers lists. In that time I've grown a little older, a little wiser and a lot more protective of my time. Gone are the days of touring the east coast of Australia from Queensland to Tasmania promoting and selling my books. In its place is the desire to simply enjoy the time I have left on this earth with the ones I love, and indulge a little more in my hobbies. Like rocker Rod Stewart, I too have graced the cover of a national hobby magazine with my HO scale layout Philden appearing on the cover of the August 2018 Australian Model Railway Magazine and even spawning its own blog. With a few more books still to follow at some point in the future, its safe to say that I do what I do purely for the love of it.

As of the end of 2018, I've decided to take an extended period of time out. Ambition and belief only take you so far in this industry. Sales and ultimately a little good luck is what is needed to take you the rest of the way. Without that, you eventually burn out and fall apart. I don't want that to happen to me. Behind the scenes in the coming years, I endeavour to re-release all four of my novels in print format once more, and finish my career on a high with one final railway adventure book.

The books that you see featured on this blog I'll forever remain extremely proud of. I somehow averaged a little over one new release per year since 2007, all while raising two children and working either full-time, part-time or not at all while I concentrated on writing. There were years where I consumed more coffee than sleep and spent more money on promoting my novels than what they actually earned me. Those years have somehow become part of the fabric of who I am, and throughout them all, I've been fortunate to have my wife Denise beside me for the journey. Without her I wouldn't have made it this far. With her I can't wait to see what life has in store for me.

Until we meet somewhere down the track, take care and God bless.
Phill O.

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