Tuesday 7 December 2021


I have adored story telling ever since childhood when my third-grade teacher read about the Greek myths to our class. Fantasy, mythology, science fiction, (now called speculative fiction) and historical novels are my favourites genres to write. But that doesn’t mean I can’t spice up my stories with a mystery, a murder or loads of adventure. But deep down it is the world of fantasy and the paranormal that are the most fun to write.

My novels, Legend of the Three Moons and its sequel, Tower of Doom came about during a babysitting job I had with five children, (2 girls and 3 boys). Fearful of the damage they would do to my new red sofas, I took them to Sydney’s Centennial Park. Here I gave each a stick and told them to imagine a weapon, to choose a pet animal or bird to travel with, and to make up a monster creature to attack them in a world that we would plot and name that day. From the game we played that day – we slashed away at the park’s bamboo with our imaginary broad swords, stabbed the earth with our long swords, and shot horrendous creatures with our arrows – was born the M’dgassy Chronicles, the first book Legend of the Three Moons.

I used the children’s names and physical descriptions and began drawing maps of M’dgassy and the wicked High Enchanter’s Fortress in the middle of the mud lake. I love maps -- there is a map in most of my books. I also love quest stories where the heroes fight their way through until the end. I also love creating odd characters such as Hannah the Hang woman. Hannah is taller than any man I know. She is swarthy, has three chins, an untidy topknot of red hair and the muscles of a weightlifter. She wears a dirty blanket and a huge man’s coat buttoned over her big belly. She carries a backpack with saucepans, an axe, and a hangman’s noose. But there is more to Hannah. She doesn’t eat, she can shape- change into someone else, and she wants Swift to be her hang-boy apprentice whether he wants to or not.

There is sly-eyed, twelve-fingered Jessup Birdsnest, an accomplished pickpocket, collector of odd and unusual objects such as magician’s shadows, invisible bird feathers, and wishing jewels. Jessup wears a long black cloak and wide-brimmed pointed hat and comes from Belem an island city full of twelve-fingered people.

I love making up characters whose wriggling fingers dip into other people’s pockets, who offer an apprenticeship to be a hang child, so there are more, such as San Jaagin of the Bird Shop of Belem who saves birds; a one-legged tailor called Roliat (which is ‘tailor’ backwards); and Edith the Oracle who lives in a cemetery with her ghost dogs.

I love Legend of the Three Moons, so imagine my joy when I sent the finished manuscript to Clan Destine Publishing, and they loved it too. Now I am deep into Tower of Doom and the kidnapped Night Parrot Boy. I can’t wait until I reach the end. 

Patricia Bernard's first work to be published was in 1981 under the pseudonym of Judy Bernard-Waite with The Riddle of the Trumpalar which was written with Judy Nunn and Fiona Waite. In 1983 she wrote her first solo book, We Are Tam, and in 1986 she, along with Nunn and Waite, wrote the sequel to The Riddle of the Trumpalar, entitled Challenge of the Trumpalar. From 1988 to 1999 Bernard wrote six more novels including The Outcast Trilogy and one piece of short-fiction which was featured in an anthology edited by Paul Collins. Book one of The Outcast TrilogyThe Outcast was a short-list nominee for the 1997 Aurealis Award for best young-adult novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.