He may be 85-years-old, but Clontarf author Richard Lancaster has no plans of putting the pen down yet.
Richard has written a further two books full of short stories and poems which shine a light on his life experiences, as well as his love for local history and marine life.
He will be releasing his latest works – Not Quite a Dozen, and Love, Dugongs and a Ship – at a launch party at the Old Fire Station Art Gallery on Saturday, August 6.
This brings the total number of books Richard has written to four.
Speaking to Moreton Daily ahead of Saturday’s launch, Richard said writing was a life-long passion.
“Writing is one of the most important things in my life – closely behind my partner and my dogs,” Richard said.
“People can’t believe I am still writing at my age. Somebody asked me why I keep doing it, and I told them it keeps my brain going, which keeps my body going, and therefore I am still alive.”
Richard is hoping for a big turnout on Saturday, which everyone is welcome to attend.
“I am extremely humbled to be the first author allowed to launch my books at this prestigious visual art gallery,” Richard said.
“The book launch is open for anyone who would like to come along – you don’t need to RSVP, just come on down.”
Richard will also be selling the complete collection of his works, which includes his first two books of fictional short stories titled A Bakers Dozen Plus Two, as well as Six of one, Half a Dozen of Another.
A collection of short stories
Richard’s new book, titled Not Quite a Dozen, is the third book in his series of short stories.
“In this book I have a collection of 11 short stories that I have written,” Richard said.
“Across all my books, I have written 37 short stories in total, and they are all about different life experiences, some of which are relevant to my life.
“I have been very lucky to have travelled a lot to many countries like Sri Lanka, India, Africa, all over Europe – you name it – and that has allowed me to meet lots of people from different cultures and write about a lot of different things.”
Throughout his life, Richard has also worked in many different fields, which he has also drawn inspiration from for his stories. These include making mockumentary movies, directing and producing for television and radio, representing politicians, sport stars and media personalities as a celebrity manager, as well as working as a journalist.
Throughout his journalism career, Richard has worked at numerous newspapers, and is well known on the peninsula as the Culture Vulture, where he wrote columns on the local art scene.
To this day, he is still writing columns for several community newspapers.
It is the skill of listening and always searching for a story that has helped with his own short stories.
“Being a journalist, you meet a lot of interesting people, and they relate things to you and at the time you think that’s interesting, I must make a mental note of that,” Richard explains.
“Everyone has got a story – at least one story, or maybe more – and if you listen carefully, you will get a lot of interesting facts and information, and that’s basically how my stories have evolved.
“You store that information in the back of your mind and when it’s more appropriate you pull it out and play with it and create circumstances that might be slightly different.
“For me personally, I like to have a big twist at the end of my stories, which is important.”
Richard’s favourite short story in this new book is called What Goes Around Comes Around, which is about a man who commits murder in Afghanistan.
An anthology of poems
Not only does Richard enjoy writing short stories, but he is also quite the poet.
His book, Love, Dugongs and a Ship, feature four parts – The Redcliffe Dugongs, the HMAS Gayundah, various subjects, and love and other matters.
“I have always been a greenie and an activist, so in my poems I talk about the Redcliffe Dugongs, the fish farm Council wanted to put in Moreton Bay, and how I fought for the preservation the Gayundah shipwreck,” Richard explained.
“Not a lot of people know this, but the Gayundah, which lies abandoned at Woody Point, was instrumental in our nation’s history and security because she saved Queensland from a Russian invasion.”
This book features 35 of Richard’s original poems.
His favourite poem is titled A Warning from Mother Earth, which is where he talks about the need to save the planet.
Richard hopes these two books will encourage others to read more, or even write their own books.
“I have always enjoyed a good short story as well as rhyming poetry. I hope my two books will be part of a resurgence of interest in both of these fine literary art forms.”
Attend the launch
If you are interested in attending the book launch on Saturday, August 6, head on down to the Old Fire Station Art Gallery, located at 395 Oxley Ave, Redcliffe.
The event will begin at 1pm.
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