Christine Bell – books and her writing journey
Continuing my blog post series of showcasing the books of my friends and colleagues, beginning with Errol Broome and Hazel Edwards; this week I’m delighted to showcase Chris Bell.
At the start of my second year at Box Hill TAFE, studying a Diploma of Arts – Professional Writing and Editing; a new student joined the Writing for Children class.
That particular class was an eclectic group of:
- Young, just-left-secondary school students
- Mature age students, who were juggling family commitments, young children and study
- And an older group, in my mind, senior women who had wanted to write for years and were prepared to do something about it, in their ‘twilight’ years.
Chris, like me, was part of the middle group – the juggling-life one.
I remember on about her second morning, Chris coming late to class; something about her daughter’s blue budgie having to go to the vet – we had instant rapport and Chris joined our friendly group of Wendy Graham, Maria McKernan and myself.
After graduating from Box Hill, Chris went on to publish many educational texts (school readers) for kids – I recall quite a large number with Nelson (now Cengage) as well as other publishers.
Chris kept following her quest to be published in the trade market – to see her books showcased on bookshop shelves, as well as in school class rooms and went on to write two as yet unpublished YA novel manuscripts.
Chris completed a Master of Creative Writing at RMIT, deciding to change direction and write novels for the adult market.
In April last year, in the middle of lockdown, under the pen-name of Christine Bell, her debut historical novel, No Small Shame hit the shelves and was launched online. It’s a terrific, you-can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page read and I still miss the main character, Mary O’Donnell.
You can find out more about Chris, her writing journey and No Small Shame on her website. https://christinebell.com.au/