Terry L Probert is a novelist and shortstory writer. His debut novel KUNDELA earned a commendation in the 2013 FAW Christina Stead Award.
Currently looking for an agent/publisher to bring any of his novels to print, Terry is a member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers, Writers Victoria and SA Writers. Terry is active in his local literary community. His Short Story Banib the Bunyip placed second in the City of Melton Short Story Competition 2013.
How do you decide whether to write a biography, or tell the story of some-one's life.
Edna Probert in her Fifth Street home May 2017
Surrounded by mountains of memories in the form of notes, journal entries and photos I'm trying to find the best way to record my mother's stories. We have plenty of Stud Books as my Uncle Doug calls them, family trees that document our ancestral roots, but these are as dry as a vacuum cleaner repair manual. I want something more, more entertaining. Therefore I have started imagining my mother as a ten-year-old and working from the stories her sisters and brothers told me and used them as the base to paint a picture of her life just before the Second World War.
Below is an excerpt from the introduction.
Iris looked at her mother, pointed toward Edna and said. ‘What’s the
chance that next week Dad can take both of them?’
Emily brushed at her dress again. ‘Absolutely none. If anyone needs to
know their Bible, it’s Edna.’
‘What, who said my name?’ Edna was never one to be left out.
‘Mum said you’ll need a lot more Bible lessons yet.’ Aileen grinned at
her, ‘just to keep you out of the Devil’s clutches.’
From the moment the visitor from the north took the pulpit, Edna always
knew she wanted to be a missionary in New Guinea, so it did not matter what
anyone said, God understood her and she knew he would help her resist any of
Satan’s temptations. She thought about New Guinea and how she would look after unwanted
babies. Along the way she would spread God’s word. While this was the world of many
a scrawny country kid whose social life revolved around family church and
school, it was how Edna saw herself. She still does.