Hello, kids! My name is Andrew Lansdown and I have written lots of things – poems, stories and novels – just for you!
But before you read any of my work on this website, let me tell you a bit about myself.
I am an Australian. I was born a long time ago in a small town called Pingelly in the south-west of Western Australia and I have lived in Western Australia all of my life.
I am married to Susan and I have five children, aged 16 to 32. Howzat for a family!
I began writing when I was sixteen years old and have never stopped since. I write about things I love (family, faith, nature) and about things I imagine (wickles, dragonknives, wrens playing cricket).
I like reading books, listening to music, watching movies, thinking about things, going to church, being with my family, sitting in cafes with a book or a friend, growing bamboo, bushwalking, birdwatching and taking photographs of things in nature. (See one of my photographs – of white corellas – below.) Oh, and I like getting letters from publishers saying they are going to publish something I have written!
I have worked as a clerk in the public service; a driveway attendant at a petrol station; a cleaner at a hamburger joint; a proofreader at a university; a teacher at several TAFE colleges; an education officer in various prisons; a journalist on a country newspaper; a pastor of two churches; and the editor of a magazine. Alongside all these jobs, I have also worked as a writer. In fact, writing has been a constant part of my life, whatever else I have been doing.
I am not sure that I enjoy writing, because it’s such hard work. All those drafts – it’s enough to make you crackers! But somehow I can’t stop. In fact, I get cranky if I don’t write.
The best thing about writing is finishing up with something you know is good. The next best thing is finding a publisher who agrees with you.
On this website, you can read some of the poems and stories I have written for children. You can also read the first chapter of each of my three novels.
Kids, I climbed a paperbark tree by a dry creek bed in Wangkatjungka (in the north of Western Australia) to take some photographs of a pair of rainbow birds. While I was standing on one branch and holding onto another, a flock of corellas landed in a nearby tree, and I took this photograph of them. Some time later, I wrote this haiku* about them:
The white corellas—
gawking at me gawking at them
through my camera.
© Andrew Lansdown
* A haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that is 3 lines and (usually) 17 syllables long. (How many syllables has my haiku got? Can you work out the haiku syllable pattern from my haiku?)
Click a book cover to learn more about that book.
The Chronicles of Klarin
Kids, have you read my three fantasy novels? Together they form a trilogy called The Chronicles of Klarin. Their individual titles are: With My Knife, Dragonfox and The Red Dragon.
You can enjoy Dragonfox or The Red Dragon without first reading With My Knife. Each novel makes sense on its own. But it is best to start with With My Knife. Anyway, once you’ve read one, I reckon you’ll want to read them all. They are sort of magical and exciting. But, hey, don’t just take my word for it. Listen to what some kids have said about With My Knife and Dragonfox in letters to me:
“I think that your book With My Knife is one of my favourite books I’ve every read. Every line puts me under more suspense even if its not meant to. … Mrs V. read it to our class but before she got a quarter of the way through I read my brothers copy because the suspense was just too much.” – Jamie, Year 7
“I thought it was pretty exciting because you didn’t know what was going to happen next. It was pretty gruesome and cool.” – Aimee, Year 5
“We have just read your two book (With My Knife, Dragonfox) at school. I thought they were great and I reckon you’re a really wicked writer.” – Hayley, Year 6/7
“Can you hurry up with the third one. It’s suspense. I love them. With My Knife was excellent. Dragonfox was even better.” – Ben, aged 9
“When Mrs C. read the two outstanding books it made me gleam up with glee.” – Lacie, Year 6/7
“I hope we’ll read more of your books. They’re really exciting. And if your writing a book at the moment, Good Luck, even though you won’t need it I’m sure.” – Eliza, Year 7
“How do you get such great ideas? I couldn’t write better myself. Will there be a third book …? I can’t wait if there is a third!” – Shaun, Year 6
“You are the best Auther in the world. The book ‘With my knife’ is the best as well. How did you think of the weird names in it? and how many books have you sold? Please write back if your not dead.” – Andrew, aged 10
Well, kids, why don’t you read my novels and see if you agree with these kids about them?
P.S. I’ll let you in on a secret. I didn’t write these novels just for children: I wrote them for adults, too. I tried to write the sort of fantasy novels that I would like to read as an adult. So, truly, kids, these novels are for you; but just as truly they are for your mums and dads, too.