Bellingen Writer Launches Young Adult Fiction Novel Written From His Kombi

Stephen Doyle’s new book tackles climate change from unique perspectives.


LONG time Coffs Coast resident, Stephen Doyle last week launched his young adult sci-fi novel titled ‘The Hero Gene’ at the Bellingen Memorial Hall.

Bellingen Mayor, Dominic King, gave an opening address before a carbon-breathing galactic invader hijacked proceedings.

Luckily two young heroes were on hand to subdue the invader.

With themes of young adults making positive impacts on the future, climate change and following your heart, the Hero Gene is the story of a teenager’s deadly adventures to save Earth from carbon breathing aliens.

It’s set in 2032 when fires and storms still ravage the planet, but thanks to the world’s young adults taking action, humanity still has hope.

Steven has combined his fascination for epic sci-fi battles and experiences of sailing across oceans and swimming with sharks and dolphins to create his action-adventure.

Steven spoke with News Of The Area about his writing process.

“The most enjoyable part of writing for me is living the adventure, experiencing the highs and shattering lows, and reacting as the characters in any situation.

“I find that placing the words so the reader can experience the adventure as their own can be exhausting at times, but the results are so crucial and rewarding,” he said.

“In one of The Hero Gene threads, the reader experiences life as a dolphin.

“Small details, such as perfecting the written sound of a dolphin exhaling, draw the reader into their world.”

Steven lives with his family and two dogs with an off-grid micro-hydro and solar power system producing his household energy.

His wonder of space and passion for nature and the ocean fuels his writing.

His favourite place to write is at the desk in the back of his kombi, overlooking a local surf break.

While working with renewable energy has been the focus of Steven’s career, his thirst for adventure has led him to sail across oceans and work as a scuba instructor on the Great Barrier Reef.

He sold Bellingen Solar, the renewable energy company he founded, to begin a liveaboard sailing adventure with his family and finish writing The Hero Gene.

He’s also a director on OzGREEN’s board and works on their flagship program, Youth Leading the World.

Following the horror fire season in Australia, Steven and his teenage son have commenced Rural Fire Service training.

Despite the ever-increasing demands placed upon the environment, Steven remains confident that humanity will rise to the challenge of fighting the pandemic, limiting global warming, and conserving nature for future generations.

He’s inspired by today’s young activists and their fight to bring about positive change and this is reflected throughout the book.

News Of The Area have three copies of the book to give away.

If you would like to receive a copy send an email to [email protected] with the subject line Hero Gene Giveaway and include your address in the email.

You can grab a copy at The Book Warehouse in Coffs and Kombu and Alternatives Bookshop in Bellingen.


By Sandra MOON

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