Meet Our Authors

James Prascevic


James provides an honest, first-hand account of the front lines of combat, and of the training that got him there. This is his story of life as an infantryman and the unglamorous aftermath of war. James Prascevic was a plumber in Victoria, when he decided to enlist as an infantryman in the Australian Defence Force. With 1 RAR he served in Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was confronted with the horrifying effects of Improvised Explosive Devices. Upon his return from Afghanistan, he completed the Commando Selection and Training Course and most of the Reinforcement Cycle for the Special Forces, but broke his leg in a parachuting incident.

That was when the black dog bit, causing him to be medically discharged from the ADF after almost ten years of service. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depression, Anxiety and Alcohol Dependence. At first he was silent about it, until he lost his wife, his career and nearly his life.

James provides an honest, first-hand account of the front lines of combat, and of the training that got him there in Returned Soldier: My Battles: Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Susan Priestley

Susan Priestley, Master of Arts (University of Melbourne), has been an independent historian since 1962. She has written the incredibly researched Henrietta Augusta Dugdale: An Activist 1827–1918, eleven commissioned histories, an article for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, seven articles for the Australian Dictionary of Biography, as well as papers and reviews, mostly for the Victorian Historical Journal. She is a founding member of the Professional Historians Association (Victoria) and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, having served as RHSV councillor for twenty years and as president from 1999 to 2005.

Ulo Pukk

Ulo Pukk graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science from Swinburne University of Technology majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, and works in Information Technology.

Ulo and his twin sister Kornelia Freeman are the authors and photographers for Melbourne Books’ Portraits of Victoria series, which to date includes: The Dandenong RangesParks & Gardens of MelbourneLaneways of MelbourneMelbourne HighlightsThe Mornington Peninsula To Wilsons Promontory and The Yarra Valley & Surrounds.

Kornelia and Ulo enjoy photography, travel, researching historical sites, uncovering secrets and showcasing the beauty of Victoria.  

Stephen Rado

Steve is the king of the outdoor castle, six-time Antarctic expeditioner and foreign aid worker trained in outdoor pursuits with a lifetime of camping experience.  When Steve met his soon-to-be wife, Angela – a 'city girl' and queen bee of creature comforts – he needed to modify his ways to cater for her comfort. Together they developed a new way of camping fit for the most discerning travellers: Camping in Style.

Peter Ralph

Peter Ralph spent his early business life as a chartered accountant, specialising in corporate recoveries and reconstructions. In the mid-1980s he became CEO of a mid-sized private company which was successfully floated as a public company in 1994. Subsequently Peter became a share and derivatives trader and continues in that field today. In addition to the financial markets and writing, he has a keen interest in squash, tennis, golf and snow skiing. The breadth and duration of his business career has provided him with a background and insights well-suited for writing suspense based business novels. Peter now spends much of his time writing and the breadth of his business career has provided him with a background and insights well suited to writing suspenseful business and topical novels. He is the author of Collins Street WhoresDirty Fracking Business, The CEO and co-authored Pass the Sugar with Joe Hachem.

Simon Reeves

Simon is an architectural historian and heritage consultant. Following early obsessions with Soane, Nash, Wyatt and later Griffin, he found himself gradually enveloped by a lust for the arcitecture and popular culture of the post-WW2 era. Simon now lives on the outskirts of a popular Victorian hill-station with three endearing mammals and a large collection of collections. He is co-author of Beaumaris Modern.

Rowan Reid

Rowan Reid is a forester amongst farmers. His passion for trees began as a child in the coastal eucalypt forests of southern Victoria and has led to a life teaching and working with farmers around the world. Rowan won the 2001 Australian Eureka Prize for Excellence in Environmental Education for his farmer course (The Australian Master TreeGrower), which he continues to deliver around Australia and internationally. A Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne for twenty years, Rowan continues his academic teaching and research as a Senior Fellow of the university and the managing director of the Australian Agroforestry Foundation (a not-for-profit organisation). Since the publication of Agroforestry in Australia and New Zealand

(1985), Rowan has written or co-authored eight other books and is an internationally recognised leader in farmer education and extension. Most importantly, Rowan is also a farmer and tree grower in his own right, with a family farm in the Otway Ranges of southern Victoria where he helped establish one of Australia’s most successful Landcare groups, the Otway Agroforestry Network. More than 10,000 visitors have toured his Bambra Agroforestry Farm, which is set up as a forty-two-hectare outdoor

classroom for farmers, scientists, students and tree lovers, and a living laboratory for his own learning. He is the author of Heartwood: the art and science of growing trees for conservation and profit.

Dolores San Miguel

Dolores San Miguel started Ballroom on a whim born of serendipity in 1978. Soon, she was booking the M bands, partying with the players, pursuing and being pursued by the musicians and movers and groovers of the era. She saw it all! San Miguel is the author of The Secret Love Letters: A Family History.