About the author

This book is dedicated to my loving family
(also characters in the book)

Graeme (fire-fighter)  Angelina (Hospital Administrator) Marissa (Dragonfly)

Helen Louise Arthurson and her family moved to the Gippsland District of Mountain View in 2006.
They wanted to pursue the country lifestyle and grow organic fruit and vegetables, and enjoy fresh eggs from their Isa Brown free range chickens.
 
Helen's family has undertaken a new venture to establish a small vineyard and produce Pinot Noir and Sparkling Chardonnay.
 
Helen is currently working on a sequel to 'Nuts in Shining Armour.'

 

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Author’s Inspiration

I was born June 20 1961, and grew up in the bustling Australian/Greek community of Richmond, Victoria.

I recall vividly the small narrow streets and the houses joined in a succession of rows.

My immigrant parents were strict, and upheld traditional values.  My three brothers and I were well behaved and disciplined.

In 1970 we went to Greece for a six month trip.  I gained a lifetime of memories.  My fondest memory is that of hand picking olives from the family Olive Tree Orchard.  At dusk, after a busy day, all dusty and barefoot, we’d hop in the back of an old open truck for the bumpy ride home.

When we returned to Australia we moved to Clayton North.  I was 10 years old. 

I wanted to save some money and buy the Bay City Rollers Cassette. It took me a very long time to save $7.00 but at the last minute, I decided to spend the money on lollies and ice-cream instead.  I raced to the local milk bar in anticipation of the sweet feast I was singularly going to devour.

I walked inside the milk bar with my precious $7.00 tightly clenched in my hand and looked at the array of edible goodies.  Suddenly my eyes veered to a shelf behind the counter, at a display of second-hand books for sale.

One book stood out from all the others.  It was Enid Blyton’s ‘The Exciting Adventures of The Famous Five’ and it was 4 complete books in 1 volume. 

I hardly ever read, so it was strange I was attracted to this hard cover book.  It cost $7.00 exactly which meant I wouldn’t have any money left over to buy lollies

I did buy the book.  It became my first introduction to the wonderful world of imaginary adventures.  For the next few years I buried myself in my bedroom and started to read everything from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Three Investigators’ to Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone with the Wind.’

At the age of 23 I broke Greek Tradition and married an Aussie, my partner for life, Graeme.  I was the happiest I had ever been until our beautiful daughters arrived – Angelina in 1986 and Marissa in 1990.

In 2006, after both our girls had completed their academic studies, we decided to move to the beautiful Gippsland district of Mountain View.  Graeme and I had always wanted to move to the country.

The vast undulating beauty of the country triggered a series of passions that had been brewing inside me for years. 

We wanted a large vegetable garden, fruit trees, olive trees and free-range chickens; a vineyard to grow grapes and make our own wine.

I bought an easel and charcoal pencils to pursue another passion for sketching and drawing.  I purchased dozens of pieces of patchwork fabric to start quilting. 

I was inspired by our beautiful surroundings to write a Children’s Book, and I wanted the focus to be on looking after our environment and protecting endangered species, while at the same time incorporating an exciting adventure with unique characters.

Writing ‘Nuts in Shining Armour’ has been my ultimate satisfaction.  Recently I was asked to participate in the ‘Antipodes Writers Festival’ at The Wheeler Centre along with some renowned Greek Writers; Christos Tsiolkas (The Slap) and George Megalogenis (The Australian Moment).

I have been selling my book through local Primary Schools (Grades 5 & 6) and donating $4.00 per book sold through the School.  Two books are also donated to the School Library for children unable to purchase the book.

I love spending time with the children, reading sections of the book, talking about the characters and answering questions.

The biggest feedback I receive from the Primary School Children is that they would love to read the sequel, and have even been offering suggestions for new characters.  The children tell me the story would make a great movie animation.

I want to start a sequel to Nuts in Shining Armour.  I am considering continuing with the main characters (Arnie – The Almond, Wally – The Walnut, Basil – The Brazilnut, Penny – The Peanut and Hazel – The Hazel Nut).

It will be environmentally based with a strong focus on animal cruelty.  The synopsis of the story begins with the five Nuts living in a giant Tingle Tree in the Tropical Rain Forest.  One day a travelling Carnival Show sets up camp in the forest.  They are mainly cruel and ruthless carnie people, exploiting animals for their Circus Performance.

Two of the exploited animals are: - Bentley, The Dancing Bear and Trixie, The Chihuahua in the Pink Tutu.  Other characters, some good and others nasty and ruthless, include the Ringmaster, The Trapeze Artist, The Dwarf, The Strongman, The Fortune Teller, The Lion Tamer, The Magician etc.

I will be conducting a competition (to be advertised through the local Warragul & Drouin Gazette) for children up to the age of 12, to come up with names for the many nameless characters that will be in the sequel.  There will be a book prize, of course, for all the winners.