Book stores making space for local authors

Death of a Coast Watcher by local author Anthony English.


ANOTHER Mid North Coast author lands in the burgeoning Local Authors section of Coffs Harbour Book Warehouse thanks to manager Julie Holgate’s keen interest in our region’s writers.

“I’m really keen to support local authors and we have a growing number filling our shelves,” Julie told News Of The Area.

Anthony English is the Valla author now stocked at Book Warehouse along with the new QBD bookstore in the Plaza.

Tony gained a nomination for Booker Prize 2021, and while he didn’t make the finals, he is justly proud of such high recognition for his first novel, Death of a Coast Watcher.

A prestigious publisher-nominated award, the Booker Prize compiles nominees through publishers being consulted on the novels they wish to nominate.

“That process, totally independent of me, led to Death of a Coast Watcher being one of only 158 nominees worldwide in 2021.

“Sure, it didn’t make the final cut but being one of 158 nominees for that prestigious award is heartening for a non-entity hiding in the backblocks of Valla,” Tony told News Of The Area.

“Another point is that self-published books are not eligible.

“Death of a Coast Watcher is a traditional publication funded and managed entirely by a long-established UK publisher; they specialise in fiction and non-fiction with strong Asia-related content.”

As the general public ploughs through books with a hearty appetite, and we’re hearing about increasing numbers of local authors penning their prose, there’s an awe in seeing the job well done and with esteemed recognition.

For Tony the motivation to write Death of a Coast Watcher wasn’t about wrestling with having to write this book, it was more about him waking up one morning and deciding to do it on a whim.

“I had nothing much else to do,” Tony said.

“That said, as I got into its early stages, and as it progressed over several years, I realised I was doing it to make sense of sometimes weird life experiences, and to create articulate, rich order out of semi-formed and sometimes chaotic ideas.

“In a sense, you could say I ended up creating some sort of artistic order out of chaos.

“I guess a lot of it was about writing to find out what I thought about a lot of things, with the thoughts channelled through characters and situations based on real places and people and situations,” Tony said.




Anthony English, Valla author of Death of a Coast Watcher, now available in Coffs bookstores.

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