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Kevin Radley – Author Talk – Stories behind the storyteller

Monday June 24, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Port Macquarie Library
32 Grant St
Port Macquarie, New South Wales 2444 Australia

Please join Leanne for a chat with author Kevin Radley at our Port Macquarie Library on Monday 24th June at 10.30am.

After studying science at University, Kevin worked in several laboring jobs, both in the city and on farms in the bush. While navigating his Kombi van around Australia in the early 1980’s, working and writing along the way, he collided with a bull near the border between the Northern Territory and Western Australia. He was able to reassemble the front end of his smashed vehicle and limp his way into the Kimberly town of Broome, where he spent the dry season working in one of the two pubs in town. It was there that he wrote about the characters he encountered in a collection of short stories.

When he returned to Sydney at the end of 1984, Kevin used samples of his stories in a successful application to join the team of story-liners for a new television series, ‘Neighbours’. He worked in this capacity until the program was cut by Channel Seven and picked up by Channel Ten.

Whilst maintaining an interest in writing, he threw himself wholeheartedly into a teaching career, nurturing a passion for delivering creative science lessons to his students. He taught in schools of Western Sydney for more than 30 years.

On the home front, Kevin and his wife, Julianne, blended their families from previous marriages, for an eventful life in the Blue Mountains. During the final two years of teaching in the region, he wrote his first novel, ‘The Teacher’s Secrets’.

In 2019, he moved with his wife to the mid-north coast of New South Wales, where he taught on a casual basis for a year while writing his second novel ‘Thundersong’. Kevin retired from teaching in 2021 to focus on writing his third novel, ‘Rabbit Town’ which was released March 2024.

RABBIT TOWN by Kevin Radley

It is 1932 and one in every three men is out of work. One is Charlie, and he is desperate to find somewhere for his family to live. He moves them to Happy Valley, a shanty town on Sydney’s eastern fringe.

Their shelter is but a thin layer against the elements, and resources are scarce. Charlie must live on his wits and intuition to make ends meet. With his son, Tom, they follow in the footsteps of the original ‘rabbitohs’, traipsing the streets and flogging rabbits.

Young Tom, just fifteen years old, is mesmerised by a young Catholic, Irish girl, Hazel. Their blossoming love is torn apart by circumstances, and to make life even more difficult for them, Hazel’s mother is infuriated that Tom, the Rabbitoh boy, is a Protestant.

Set against the backdrop of war and social upheaval, a family secret is buried, the damning consequences of which, are manifested in the generations that follow. Many years later, the deception is exposed, and family descendants are faced with the truth. Can they come to terms with history and be willing to forgive those from the past?

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