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This Is Northern New South Wales

Daniel Ducrou at Alstonville High

  • People

“Deliciously hedonistic” is how author Daniel Ducrou describes Byron Bay: the key setting for his debut novel, The Byron Journals. Daniel was the Writer-in-Residence at Alstonville High for one week in April and spoke to groups of senior boys and Year 12 Extension English students with an aim for igniting a stronger passion in literature. He did this skilfully and, by all accounts, he was tremendously successful.

He began with absorbing anecdotal tales of his writing career travelling around Australia and the world before giving a mouth-watering sample of his novel. An engaging but also comical discussion followed about the inspiration and themes behind the book. The Byron Journals was a real hit. I’d heard from a few friends that it was a great read, but I didn’t expect it to be this good. I really enjoyed it, the characters, the action, the suspense. With the developed idea this book has, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect in regards to the plot, this only added excitement. Year 11 student Blake Jarrett wrote on The Byron Journals Facebook page: “Hey Daniel, just thought I’d let you know I started reading the book, it’s great. I read 19 chapters straight and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t read at all but now I can’t wait for the next book. Cheers.”

During his entertaining banter Daniel told us of his adventures and how they related to his novel The Byron Journals. The students found this extremely enlightening, as it brought a more insightful and honest translation on this style of story writing. He also spoke of the new novel he is working on, an exciting fictional novel starring a surfer on a mission to find her father, set in Indonesia and Australia.

Daniel was a very entertaining speaker, his balance of colloquial language and more formal language when regarding writing techniques was exceptional.  Not only was Daniel entertaining, the students found his down to earth attitude a very admirable and relate-able quality. He was really loved by the students! He then finished up with his short story Grandpa does the Melbourne Shuffle, and left us with a sense of intense amusement and newfound literary inspiration

By Alexander Whitehead, Davidson Ducker and Harry Coles – all students at Alstonville High thanks guys!