About Alison Stuart
Alison always wanted to be a writer.
As a teenager she scribbled turgid historical novels in shorthand notebooks (which she is embarrassed to say are probably still in existence somewhere in the loft). As a young adult, writing took second place to university, work and children. It was only when she dislocated a shoulder in a skiing accident, which left her stranded in a snow bound chalet in the Australian Alps with nothing for company but a notebook computer, did she dare to write the story that had been tugging at her sleeve for so long.
She attributes her love of history and books to her late father who would read aloud to she and her brother on Sunday afternoons. Not childrens’ books, but the books he loved and it was Daphne Du Maurier’s The King's General, read to her at the unsuitable age of 8, that first caught the fuse that lit her passion for the English Civil War.
Her family moved from Kenya, where she had been born, to Australia in the late 1960s. Alison had imagined Australia as a place where kangaroos roamed the streets (just as, no doubt, children in Australia imagined Africa as a place where lions roamed the streets), but the inner suburbs of Perth seemed remarkably short of the marsupials. After a short stay in Perth the family finally settled in Melbourne where she finished her schooling and studied Law and Arts at the University of Melbourne.
She has worked all her life as a lawyer, both in private practice and in a range of different organisations from not for profits to Emergency Services. As a student Alison joined the Australian Army Reserve ("the weekend warriors"), where she met her husband. In the twenty years they served in the Reserve, they both rose to the rank of Major, Alison in the Legal Corps and her husband in the Infantry. She thinks this is why she leans towards soldier heroes! They have two sons, both now young adults and making their own way in the world.
In 2000 Alison moved with her family to Singapore for three years, where unconstrained by work commitments and confined to being “just an expat wife”, she pursued a fledgeling writing career. Fortunately she fell in with a like minded group of scribblers and in her short time in Singapore, the ANZA Writers Group had two volumes of short stories published by one of Singapore’s leading publishers, Angsana Press. Both volumes were launched in style by the Australian and the New Zealand High Commissioner respectively and the first book, In The Shadow of the Merlion, topped the Kinokuniya best seller list for a week!
Back home in Melbourne, the reality of returning to work and other commitments of every day life threatened to swamp her again. However Alison managed to fit in two challenging years as President of the Romance Writers of Australia which kept her feet still firmly rooted in the writing world and has given her some of the best friends she could ever ask for.
In the long years since that fortunate skiing accident, writing became her passion, her dream and her goal. Alison says "I firmly believe if you are determined to achieve a goal you will succeed. The question of how soon is dependent on luck and your own perseverance".
In April 2010 Alison was featured in "My Secret Art Life" on ABC Television's Arts Nation. See below.
Alison can also be found at Manic Readers, Amazon and Smashwords