Mary books

Thursday, 28 April 2011

It’s been a very busy week. I was rostered to share a post on blog There I wrote about Resurrection Sunday and Easter Monday and ANZAC day. Yesterday I should have written something for my readers here. Instead, I found myself trying to finish editing a manuscript my brother, Stan Pedler, wrote.

This is a photo of myself with my brother Stan and sister Shirley.

A few years ago I did some editing on this story for him but early last week I saw a notice about a contest for unpublished writers and really wanted him to enter his “Joanna Downs”. As I read through the historical story again of an English couple who left their home to carve out a life for themselves and others in western Queensland back in the nineteenth century, I began to realise how much I have been learning myself since my last efforts on this manuscript!

When our children were younger, they used to listen with fascination when Uncle Stan told them stories of unusual people he had met and incidents both good and not so good that had happened during his days of farming on the Darling Downs in Queensland. Of course, he also especially enjoyed telling them stories about their mother when she was growing up! Stan is a wonderful story teller and also has a great imagination, but he is still learning how to put stories down on paper in acceptable ways to submit to editors – or at least that has been my observation so far.

For over 15 years he lived on Thursday Island right at the northern tip of Cape York and very close to New Guinea. After much sadness in his life, there the Lord gave him a ministry to Torres Strait folk through a Christian bookshop and sharing first Christian videos and in later years Christian DVDs. There are folk in the world today that Christ has transformed through my dear brother’s efforts and I am very proud of him.

However, even before Stan went to Thursday Island he started to write. Since he bought his first computer he has now written fifteen books. These he has simply printed a few copies out, including covers, bound them himself and given to interested family and friends to read. He writes different kinds of books from myself but I have lent them to some friends here who read widely and they enjoyed them so much they keep asking me when Stan will write another book! There are some great yarns among those books, but they do still need to be revised and edited. I would so love to see them published! However, over the years my dear brother has had little confidence in himself regarding his spelling and grammar especially.

Stan can do so many wonderful things, including not only using all kinds of large farm machinery, but he flew his own plane, sailed his own boat from Brisbane to Thursday Island and around the Torres Strait Islands. I keep telling him if he can do all these, he sure can learn some of the techniques of novel writing!

Oh well, his manuscript will be entered in this contest next week. I would so love it to at least be short-listed! I would love an editor and publisher to see the potential in his writing. I want to see him have the same delight as I have had of holding his own published book in his hands, seeing them for sale in bookshops!

But there are two more – so far – sequels to the Joanna Downs book. I wonder how I can make time to help him with the editing of those too. Hmm... perhaps less time on writing blogs – and Facebook – could be a start?

And this also makes me wonder just how many great story-tellers there are who sadly never do see their books published.


  1. Your brother sounds like an interesting man.
    My best wishes to him regarding the contest. I hope he does really well.

  2. All the best for your brother. Sounds like great reading! He is blessed to have a sister who knows what to do with his manuscripts, I reckon. :)

  3. Thanks, Narelle. I have been blessed to by editing his manuscript, Amanda. Editing also helps me realise what can jar a reader out of a story - even a great one. Unfortunately since being published I now can't help reading as a "writer" with a writer's eye! LOL.

  4. I met Stan during my visit to TI - see and . I hear he had to leave TI for health reasons some years ago which must've been quite a blow to him. I know because even though I only lived and worked on TI for less than a year in 1977, it still has a hold over me.
    Best regards
    Peter Goerman