People and Places
Author’s right at home in Balnarring By Kate Sears

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Influenced by his father’s bedtime storytelling and the isolation of farm life, Garry Disher decided at a young age that he wanted to become a writer. He has now written more than 50 books and gone on to become one of Australia’s best-known authors.

Garry resides near Balnarring, choosing to return to the country life after growing up on a farm in South Australia. “I like the rural lifestyle,” he says. “I like living on a dirt road away from built-up urban areas. The Mornington Peninsula gives me this with its beautiful varied landscape, and I’m always a short drive from a vineyard, a beach or the shops.  If I need to go up to the city, I take the train from Frankston.”

Garry gained a Bachelor’s Degree from Adelaide University and proceeded to work and travel. After returning home, he hit the books again and completed his Masters in Australian History at Monash University in Melbourne. He was also awarded a creative writing fellowship to Stanford University in California and taught creative writing in Melbourne for many years before becoming a full-time writer in 1988.

Often drawing inspiration for his crime thrillers from newspapers, Garry says: “I think writers are alert to everything around them — something someone says, something they see, something they read in the newspaper. Sometimes you have to wait for several of these ideas to come together.”

Garry credits meet-the-author sessions, workshops and festivals for assisting his career development. “The smaller festivals and talks are my preference because you can really engage with the audience and experience a friendlier atmosphere.”

You can check out Garry’s extensive list of works at

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