“I fell in love with the Library” – Cheryl’s Story

My name is Cheryl Sullivan, and my pen name is C.C. Walker. I haven’t published a book yet but I contributed to two anthologies published by the Noosa Writers group. I’m an Ipswich girl and I came to Brisbane for a job after living in Mooloolaba for twenty years. Brisbane has been my home for the last seven years.

In the past I worked in administration and sold furniture and my first job was a pharmacy assistant, but none of those were creative jobs. I just wanted something to do because I worked part time, and the funny thing is that I saw a psychic friend and his first impression to me was “you have a book to write”! But I had no idea of what to do and he said “well, go to this lady who runs a writing group” and that’s how it all started. I’ve been creative writing for probably 30 years now, even though I took breaks in a fifteen year period the need to write never left.

I started using the Library four and a half years ago, when I became enrolled in Queensland Writers Centre courses, and through doing those courses I found my creativity blossomed.

Now I’m working on a book yet to be named but it all stands from an exercise at one of the QWC courses. The group was asked to write a short story of two people meeting in a bar on a wet day, and that’s where it all came from! But I had trouble plotting so I’ve done courses in plotting, structuring, how to research, how to write, introduction to creative writing, and I think I attended one a month for 18 months here!

Recently I’ve been awarded an Access Grant from QWC, so now I can concentrate on completing my book. The story is set in Sydney in 1946, and it’s about two characters, one from Ipswich, a female who wants to be a crime reporter, and a gentleman who is a returned soldier, based on the war service of my father in law, and it’s a about a portal in the abandoned tunnels of Saint James rail station, where girls have been abducted for their eggs for IVF for aliens! It’s crime-science fiction.

Four years ago I was incapacitated from falls, and went to the Eumundi market just to spend the day, and there was a fellow charging twenty dollars for palm reading. I put my hand out and he said “your question is about romance but you haven’t got the time for it, you got three books to write!” So that was fascinating, as I do have three books to write because this is a series of books: the second one is about the abducted girls returning to the human world and the third one is about the destruction of the dimension on the other side of the portal. And that’s all growing from being here in this Library. The library has made a difference in my life. It opened up a door inside me that I had closed, I’ve met new friends, and there’s a lot of support in the writing circle.

I came for the QWC and I fell in love with the library too. I’m here once a week, but I’ll need to come more than that now, because I’m quite involved with the novel. Apart from the Wi-Fi, I come here because I live in a busy street in a small unit on the second floor, and there’s ambulance, sirens, refrigerator trucks, street cleaners, vacuum cleaners, the roller door goes up and down for the building, kids screaming, buses, trains, all within five hundred meters. There’s no peace, except at night. Here it’s quiet, peaceful, and to me it’s magic. It’s like the words are floating around in the room and it’s a matter of just reaching up and snatching down a word and say “that’s the one I need”. This to me it’s a very magic place.

I don’t necessarily access the library books because I don’t want to be responsible for them, but I wander around and read things up here, in the research area, the APDL, these books amaze me! So I just stand there and peruse through. I certainly advocate it to other people!

“Try the library” I say “you know?”.

Cheryl Sullivan – SLQ Member