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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Local Author Danae Andrea Harwood Presents our Springtime Storytelling Special: "How We Dreamed Then and How We Dream Now" - 11am, Saturday, 23rd September 2017

  Mentone Public Library's
Continues with

Local Author 

Danae Andrea Harwood 

Presenting our Springtime Storytelling Special: 

"How We Dreamed Then 

and How We Dream Now"

An Exploration of the Changing Face of the Australian Dream.

Is the Dream Facing Extinction?

Danae will draw on her own research, life experiences and original publications to address this question.

11am, Saturday, 23rd September 2017

Bookings are essential due to

the cozy nature of our space.

Phone Tony: 03 9583-8494

Entry: Gold Coin 

Time and Date: 11am, Saturday, 23rd September 2017         

RSVP: Thursday, 21st September 2017        
Venue: Mentone Public Library
Address: Rear, 36 Florence Street, Mentone 3194

* Book signings and sales
*Complementary tea & coffee
* Biscuits and banter!

Mentone Public Library…

Where Print Becomes Personable   

Monday, 4 September 2017

Literal Bliss: Graeme & Elsie Johnstone Reflect on their Recent Appearance at Mentone Public Library - 11am, Saturday, 26 August 2017

Literal Bliss: 
Graeme & Elsie Johnstone Reflect 
on their Recent Appearance at 
Mentone Public Library 
- 11am, Saturday, 26 August 2017

Elsie (seated) and Graeme Johnstone unrolled their red carpet of literary accomplishments at the end of August 2017 at Mentone Public Library

Though husband and wife writing duo 
Graeme and Elsie Johnstone penned a haunting, psychological, bleak portrait of a marriage turned sour and lethal in Lover, Husband, Father, Monster, their real-life marriage, could not be any more opposite: supportive, expressive, loving and successful. They are friends, literary partners, supporters and champions of one another and supporters and champions of all local writers. We are huge fans of this dynamic duo here at Mentone Public Library and were delighted to have them back with us after a very long absence. 
Here's a little of their experience of their reunion with us in their own words...

Over the years we have been at the library on both sides of the room – either up the front talking about our works, or in the audience listening to an author talking about the brilliant highs and the occasional dramatic lows of writing. Either way, it’s a most enjoyable experience.

The Mentone Public Library is one of the great stories of the community that needs to be heard. Because it is independent and self-sufficient, it goes about its business in its own way – and that way is warm, welcoming, encouraging and an atmosphere far removed from the general notion of a library.

Up to their necks in celebration: Mentone Public Library president Tony with Media & Events Officer Julia just before the library's Open Day to mark its 90th Anniversary & Memorial Tribute to Former President Jean Critchley in 2015.
President Tony and Julia as Media & Events Officer do a fantastic job organising a range of events at Mentone – events that provide a great opportunity for local writers to display their talent and engage with an audience.

Appearing at Mentone gives writers a chance to read selections from their works. Sometimes this is a revelation for the writer as well – mid-way through a reading you might find something in there that had you had not appreciated when you first put it down in print. Most times that’s a good thing, and you think, ‘Wow, that’s not bad.’ Then there are other times …

We were asked about how we go writing a novel together, such as “Lover, Husband, Father, Monster,” which runs across three books and hinges on the voices of the wife Jennifer (written by Elsie) and the husband Stuart (written by Graeme.) A key requirement is trusting each other’s skills and yet at the same time being able to raise questions about the shape of the book, open up discussion about where the narrative is going, and examine how the characters are being portrayed. For example, ‘Would Stuart really say that, in that way?’ Or, ‘Do you think that would be Jenny’s response?’ That sort of thing.

We are at the point now where we can talk about the material we wrote when we were running The Wordsmith’s Shop in Mentone, and the output since we sold the business and retired. Now, we write what we want to write, rather than writing what we have to write. 

Reflective Entry from the Eyes of Audience Member, 
Paul Karp

Visit Paul Karp's Poetry Website at:

Graeme and Elsie Johnstone have written a considerable number of books between them. Their joint presentation offered the audience a tantalising glimpse into the inspiration and background behind some of their many works.

Graeme began with his satirical advertising jingle/ode to 'Efudex', a skin cream for treating highly sun-sensitive skin with initially painful and abrasive results. Graeme's humorous thespian-like delivery truly brought his words to life.

During his career as a journalist with the Herald Sun, Graeme interviewed well known authors such as Jackie Collins and Roald Dahl, and found that strict adherence to self-established writing routines greatly helped their success.

For ten years, Graeme and Elsie ran the business 'The Wordsmith Shop' on the corner of Balcombe and Charman Road. 'We'll write anything' was their credo (but when quizzed by a former teacher from Mentone Girls High School across the road Elsie responded that any requests to ghost-write homework assignments would never have been entertained).
In addition to corporate and commercial work, people came in off the street to ask them to write a book.

Graeme recalled the time a salmon fish-seller came in and boasted "I've got an idea for the best story ever told!" But when asked, he wouldn't divulge his idea until after another two visits. Kevin Heaney then outlined the plot to Graeme chapter by chapter, and the final result was the Adelaide Arts Festival Award winning book 'The Playmakers', based on the premise that William Shakespeare was a fraud.

Joan Child, Australia's first female Federal Member of Parliament and first female Speaker of the House, was another unexpected visitor to The Wordsmith Shop. Elsie and Joan's deep friendship culminated in Graeme publishing Joan's biography 'Child of Labor'. 

Tony Larkin visited The Wordsmith Shop with his insider's view of tycoon Christopher Skase's life in self-exile that became the book 'Skase, Spain and Me'.

Hinkler Books commissioned Graeme and Elsie to write joke books, beginning with 'Fishing Jokes', followed by 'Adults Only Joke Book' that topped best seller lists. A suite of 'niche' joke books followed.

Graeme's understanding of the publishing game led him to decide to set a price payable upon manuscript presentation was preferable to claiming copyright.
Graeme's 'The Limerick Book' traced limericks from their Edward Lear origins through risqué Victorian times and World War Two, to modern limericks about Shane Warne, Serena and Venus Williams, and the 2003-4 invasion of Iraq.

Elsie's first book captured five generations of her family’s stories about living in Lakes Entrance in 'Our Little Town'. For her book 'Ma's Garden' she researched Graeme's grandmother's settlement in Trafalgar, Gippsland in 1902, where Graeme's grandfather also started a newspaper.
In response to an audience question, Elsie recommended tape-recording the reminiscences of family seniors before their stories are lost forever.

Presenting "Lover, Husband, Father, Monster" to Mentone Public Library Christmas time 2011

As co-authors, Graeme and Elsie wrote the novel 'Lover Husband Father Monster'. 
After many reader's requests for a sequel they produced the follow-up novel 'The Aftermath'.

Graeme finished the show with his humorous poetic diatribe on 'helicopter parenting'.

For further information about Graeme and Elsie Johnstone and their literary treasure trove,

Sunday, 3 September 2017

PAUL'S PICKS [Book Reviews of Publications by Local Authors]: "On the Road to the Best Orgasm Ever" by Suzy J Brown


 Book Reviews of Publications Penned by 

Our Community's Local Authors

Visit Paul Karp's Poetry Website at:

Mentone Public Library is committed towards promoting local history and the local literary talent of the City of Kingston and surrounding municipalities of Bayside, Glen Eira and Port Phillip in the Bayside region of Melbourne Australia.

Mentone Public Library is pleased to have recruited 
Paul "Percussion & Poet" Karp 
to source and review the local literary pearls of publications you might be yet to discover.

This month Paul's book review pick is by 

 On the Road to the Best Orgasm Ever
(AKA Freedom Finds her)

Suzy's novel is a memoir of 
intimately erotic, blissful self-discovery. 

Sick of her husband's abuse, sarcasm, exploitation, and disregard for their two young sons, Sarah relishes her new-found freedom after he finally leaves her. 

An SBS documentary inspires firstly her quest for orgasm and then her determination to intensify her pleasure. Her challenge to find a new man with whom to share her rediscovered sexuality begins with re-connection with a high-school sweetheart, before dabbling in phone-sex, then progressing to online dating. 

After some early missteps, Steve, the American Scorpio of her dreams truly mesmerises Sarah. Olympic standard, scorching hot sexual athletic self-pleasuring role-play over Skype fueled by their mutual attraction and lack of fulfillment in their respective marriages deepens their personal connection. 

Sarah visits Steve in New Mexico and complications arising in their relationship make compelling reading. At any time everything could go horribly wrong. 

How does Sarah fare after the novel's almost mind-blowing crescendo? 

Find this book in the Local Author section of Mentone Public Library. 


Suzy J Brown lives in Melbourne Australia and still lives in the street where she was born (and where her sons were born), which frustrates her to no end, but somehow, she keeps returning. She graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) in 1994 and went on to work for the Age Newspaper in their classified advertising department, specialising in real estate. She managed the advertising department of two leading Melbourne real estate agents before going out on her own as a freelance real estate copywriter in 1998. In 2009/2010, she completed 2 years of her Masters in Writing at Swinburne University before pursuing writing her novel ‘On the Road to the Best Orgasm Ever.’ In late 2016, she also launched its sequel ‘Calmer Suits Her.’
Her real estate writing has allowed her to step into thousands of homes and have people reveal their secrets, giving her inspiration for her novel writing.
A proud single mother, Brown loves travelling the world with her two sons.  
We were delighted to have Suzy J Brown make her debut appearance on Saturday, 24 June this year at Mentone Public Library as part of our seventh series: "An Author for All Seasons."
A positive, irrepressible spirit who has found great strength, resilience and versatility from some very hard life lessons dealt her way, Suzy's presentation left us all in great admiration.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Graeme and Elsie Johnstone Present their Treasure Trove of Works for: "An Author for All Seasons: Series Seven - 11am, Saturday, 26th August 2017

Graeme and Elsie Johnstone Present 

Their Treasure Trove of Works for: 

"An Author for All Seasons: Series Seven 

- 11am, Saturday, 26th August 2017 


Mentone Public Library's

continues this month 
Husband and Wife 
Writing Duo

Their Treasure Trove of Works
Bookings are essential due to

the cozy nature of our space.

Phone Tony: 03 9583-8494
Entry: Gold Coin 

Time and Date: 11am, Saturday, 26th August 2017
RSVP: Thursday, 24th August 2017
Venue: Mentone Public Library
Address: Rear, 36 Florence Street, Mentone 3194

* Book signings and sales
*Complementary tea & coffee
* Biscuits and banter!

Mentone Public Library…

Where Print Becomes Personable