Meet SA Woman Member, Helen Edwards.

Business/Organisation: Helen Edwards Writes
Job Role: Author, Speaker and Freelance Writer

Tell us a bit about you:

I’m an Adelaide-based children’s author who weaves diverse stories of nature, magic and history. My debut middle-grade novel, The Rebels of Mount Buffalo was published in October 2023, by the award-winning Riveted Press, distributed by Simon and Schuster. It’s a captivating time-slip tale in which a girl lost to grief meets a daring rebel on a misty mountain who guides her to rediscover her courage and find her way home. The Rebels of Mount Buffalo was longlisted in the inaugural DANZ Children’s Book Award for books which feature diversity in all forms.

I have a PhD in Psychology and a long background working in mental health. I write stories that reduce stereotypes and increase understanding of diversity, including characters who live with chronic illness, mental illness, and/or who are neurodivergent. I write stories that reflect our Australian environment, culture, and history. I have been blogging since 2001, after founding an award-winning online counselling service for people with diabetes, which I ran for 16 years. Over 100,000 people follow me across social media, where my platforms share book reviews and inspire action for people and planet, with kindness and hope, focusing on our children’s future.

I have won a number of awards, including being a South Australian State Finalist for Australian of the Year for my work in diabetes. As well as The Rebels of Mount Buffalo being longlisted in the DANZ, I was winner of the ZestFest writing competition, a special mention in the inaugural Deep Creek Fellowship, and short-listed in the inaugural SA Literary Fellowship.

I am an experienced speaker and have presented talks and workshops locally and internationally across a wide range of topics. I am a member of Writers’ Vic, Writers’ SA, Qld Writers Centre, Women’s Society of Writers Victoria, ASA, CBCA and SCBWI. I am part of the Author Pen Pals initiative and an Ambassador for Australia Reads and a Role Model with Books in Homes. I am passionate about inspiring action for our beautiful, fragile planet and nature features in all of my books. I find history fascinating and uncover stories that may have been forgotten, or hidden, and bring them into the light. My second novel, Legend of the Lighthouse Moon, will be published in October 2024 and my third in April 2025.

If you’re looking for a children’s author who speaks from the heart, who laughs loud and loves deep, who is passionate about people and planet, and who understands we come in a glorious rainbow of human beings, I’m your person.

Tell us a bit about your business or organisation/role:
I’m an Adelaide-based children’s author who weaves diverse stories of nature, magic and history. I’m represented by Golvan Arts Management for my literary works and by Lamont Authors for school bookings. My debut middle-grade novel, The Rebels of Mount Buffalo, is out now with Riveted Press, distributed by Simon & Schuster. With a neurodivergent main character and an inspiring real-life mountain guide from the 1890s, it’s a captivating time-slip tale in which a girl lost to grief meets a daring rebel on a misty mountain who guides her to rediscover her courage and find her way home.

It was recently longlisted in the DANZ – The Diversity in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand Children’s Book Award. This award has been created to recognise, award, and celebrate diverse children’s fiction. This means a children’s book published in Australia or New Zealand which ‘pushes boundaries, challenges stereotypes, and celebrates diverse and marginalised people and communities.’

You can order your copy from me here and from Riveted Press and it’s also available in many bookshops and libraries. If you can’t find it in your local bookshop or library, just ask them to get it in for you!

My next middle-grade novel – Legend of the Lighthouse Moon – is coming on 2nd October 2024 with the fabulous Riveted Press. I absolutely love this story about 13-year-old Mona McKenna, a girl living in 1970 with type 1 diabetes in an island lighthouse, featuring the stunning backdrop of Kangaroo Island and the gorgeous and endangered sea lions, as well as drawing on the true history of Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. As usual, I’m weaving nature, plenty of magic, and true history to create a very special and diverse story that’s full of heart and wonder, inspired by my grandmothers who were both born on islands in the UK, the legends from these regions and my life growing up with type 1 diabetes. With thanks to Arts SA for supporting this project.

Here’s the blurb!

“It’s 1970 and 13-year-old Mona McKenna is living at Cape Willoughby, an isolated lighthouse on Kangaroo Island, with her grandparents, eight-year-old brother Albert and their dog Biscuit. It’s where Mona and Albert’s mum Maisie grew up and where she met their dad, Lear. Until five years ago, Mona and Albert hadn’t met their grandparents. And they’d only known Kangaroo Island through their parents’ songs and stories, especially the ones about the endangered sea lions. It’s a beautiful, wild island and Mona and Albert help to keep the brilliant heart of the lighthouse beating. But someone is missing. Two someones. One will never return. They’ve come to accept that since the awful night that took their mother from them. But the other? He’s been missing for the same period of time, and the siblings can’t understand why. To make matters worse, since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Mona has begun to act in ways that make her hate herself. As a way of coping, she collects flotsam and jetsam she finds on the beaches and in the sea, feeling security from holding onto them. She’s even begun to take things that don’t belong to her. And when a sea lion pup arrives without his mum, Mona takes comfort in his company, knowing she can’t keep him forever, but desperately wanting to hold on. As Mona and Albert care for the pup, they begin to learn fascinating things about the endangered island sea lion colony and uncover lost secrets about their parents that will take them on a magical adventure to uncover the truth about their own history. And when the lighthouse comes under threat, they must band together to protect the only place they still feel connected to their parents. Can they keep their family secret, protect the sea lions and save their lighthouse home?”

Cover reveal, pre-order details, and more info for Legend of The Lighthouse Moon are coming soon!! Sign up to the newsletter to keep up to date with details on release dates, pre-orders and events.

You can book me to speak at your school, library or event. I am available for virtual and in-person events and workshops.

What region of South Australia are you in?:
Adelaide East

How can you best contact you:

Phone Number: 0410 301267

LinkedIn Profile:

Website: https://www.helenedwardswrites.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/drhelenedwardswrites

Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/drhelenedwardswrites