Good Reading : December January 2015
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING DECEMBER 2014 / JANUARY 2015 50 AUTHOR PROFILE 2 What drew you to journalism as a career choice? I started studying law when I left school but soon realised that it wasn’t for me. I’d always been fascinated by journalism. When I got a chance to join The Australian newspaper as a reporter I jumped at it. I learned the craft on the job and worked with some wonderful reporters and subeditors. Newspapers were the dominant news media form in those days and it was still typewr iters (the manual Olivetti Lettera 32) and Linotype hot-metal printing when I started. Within a few years we started the move to computers. I loved the adrenalin-charged chase for stories, especially when you were trying to scoop your competitors. Can you remember the first piece you had published? One of my earliest pieces was a profile on Kerry Packer, a scary prospect for an inexper ienced journo. I somehow overcame my fear and found him a fascinating character, with a soft side cloaked beneath a steely exterior. I still remember my opening: ‘Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer is an enormous tree trunk of a man, with giant hands, a leonine head and a face crying out for a caricature. But it’s only when he emerges from behind his desk that he reveals the bulk that would daunt a Welsh rugby front row.’ He apparently liked the profile because I later heard that his secretary called the paper for a copy. You were a journalist for 25 years before you turned to writing books full-time. Which parts of this experience have been most valuable when writing your books? After The Australian I joined Channel Nine, when we started the Today show. I spent 16 years there as a reporter, presenter and wr iter. I worked on programs such as Today, Sunday, With over 25 years of journalistic experience, PATRICK LINDSAY is one of Australia’s best non-fiction writers. He has covered stories from Gallipoli, the Kokoda Track, and what he calls ‘Australia’s darkest day’ – the Battle of Fromelles in World War I. He also imparts a few words of advice from High Hopes, the latest instalment in his series of inspirational books.