Monday, September 29, 2008

Barry Heard

Feature Author - Barry Heard

December 2007 - January 2008

As part of the Reading Victoria Campaign 'The Summer Read' Barry spoke at the Ivanhoe Library on Thursday 17 January about his personal experiences during the Vietnam war in his book

'Well done, those men'

Pictures from the evening

Podcast of event - This recording is 1 hour long- the download may take a few minutes.

Or you may choose to listen by clicking the arrow.

'Well done, those men'

In this memoir, Barry heard draws on his own experiences of life before, during, and after the Vietnam War. The result is a sympathetic portrayal of a group of young men who were sent off to war completely unprepared for the emotional and psychological impact it would have on them.

To find out more about Barry and his experiences please visit his website

Author Interview

Yarra Plenty's 5 Question quick interview

Q. Can you tell us why you became an author?

A. Few people could claim to 'coming out' as a writer that mirrors my own. It was an accident. Some ten years ago I was very, very ill. As a patient in a mental ward with little desire to live, I was encouraged to write by a shrink. I did! Naturally I didn't show anyone - however, I started to get better. Yes, writing was a pathway to my recovery, along with support from good people.

The paradox was when I finally showed others what I had written, I was encouraged to publish. Now that was a big step! It took almost three years to scribblings from that time became a best seller..

Now, I love writing and encourage others to write as well.

Q. What is your all time favourite book? How would you describe it to other readers?

A. Bill Bryson is my favourite author. I would recommend any of his books. I would put 'A SHORT HISTORY of NEARLY EVERYTHING' as my favourite. To summarise, it's a beginners guide to the fascinating world of science. However, I am a diverse reader...'Lord of the Rings', 'Recollections of a bleeding heart', 'The Cruel Sea' are all up there as well.

Q. Where or from who have you been inspired or given ideas?

A. As mentioned above, a psychiatrist urged me to write, but as therapy, not a hobby or a vocation. Both of my published books are memoirs, hence I write only in non fiction.

Q. What is something fun from your childhood that you can remember about yourself?

A: Fred, an aging farmhand that lived up the road was someone I liked to listen to when I was a young boy. He told yarns. My brothers and I loved his jokes. They weren't necessarily funny, but Fred laughed out loud at his own jokes. The funny thing was, when Fred threw his head back and roared laughing, his teeth would drop down and be together whilst his mouth was wide open. We encouraged him to tell many, many jokes.

Q. What advice would you give to new writers?

A: At the conclusion of both my books I encourage writing. It can be your friend, your heart, your confessor, your private place to grieve or express love. It can allow you to laugh, to cry to express anger or can sooth your soul or let your imagination run riot. Everyone should write.

Podcast of event

This recording is 1 hour long- the download may take a few minutes. Or you can click the arrow and listen without downloading.


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