Ruth Bright
Liska Turner
Eileen Robberds
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Roslyn Motter
Janice Lorraine
Kay Worrall
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Ruth Bright
Wise Woman
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Well, it's Wells
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A Friend Indeed
My Ayurvedic Experience
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Lunchtime Conversation

Roslyn Motter

Author and truly great character

Sometimes the most remarkable people just appear in your life and I am very glad the very vivacious, larger than life, hilarious Roslyn Motter arrived on my doorstep.


Well, I did invite her, so here is my chat with this fascinating children’s author.  This interview was peppered with many outbursts of laughter which I fully believe added years to our lives in just one afternoon.......


Gigi:  Life tells me that interesting things start to happen when you are 50.  When did you start writing your books?


Roslyn:  As a matter of fact, it was the age of 50! (Laughs) It is interesting and if you ask me why it happens, I think it is because for the first time you might feel like you can do something different to what people expect of you and you don’t care!


When I was at school I was good at writing and I loved it, and I had my pieces published in the school magazines but when I left school I was thinking ‘what sort of a career can I have with writing?’   ‘How could I make a living doing that!’  There were no JK Rowling’s to inspire one in those days.  (Laughs). 


I learnt accountancy.   My father was an accountant and had his own accountancy practice.   It was a terrible suffering for me as was not my cup of tea at all.  I don’t think I even liked figures that much!   Anyway I did it until I was about 45.  Everyone I knew said there was no-one less like an accountant in the whole world than me. 


It was becoming increasing hard for me to see the same tax returns year in and year out.  I just hated it.  In fact it makes me sick when I think about it now! (Laughs) Anyhow I said to my father that I wanted to try something different.  ‘You’ll do that at your peril’ he said.  


I didn’t know then what the different thing would be and I could see getting employment over the age of 45 or 50 would be difficult.   Then I heard about a degree for acupuncture and I thought ‘that is not a bad idea!’  You could have a clinic at your house and make a living out it.  So that is what I did.  I went back to university and did acupuncture.


Gigi:  How long did that take?


Roslyn:  About 4 years or so!


Gigi:  How did the writing come about?


  When I say I started writing at fifty, I had actually started the first book when I was about 47, while I was studying acupuncture.    I got to a part in the middle where I had to think of a riddle and I couldn’t.  So, I just let it go.  


When I was fifty I heard on the radio that someone had sold their story to Hollywood to make a movie and I thought, I must go back and have a look at that little story I wrote.  (Laughs)


And so I completed the story and I kept on going and going and I have now written 18. 


I decided I could really address issues that I find most annoying and weave them through my books, such as deforestation, toll ways or water rights for example.  But they are ‘make believe’ as all of my stories take place on other planets and it all rather fun. 


In one book for instance “The King and Queen on Lundarah borrow money from the Blabbel of Salcazar who is an old man who tells fortunes.   He lives down a well in the Marshes of Salcazar.  No one has ever seen him but if you send a gold coin down the well he will tell you the answer to your question.   He has made so much money from his fortune telling that he has become a big property developer.   He lends money to the King and Queen to build their dam.  When they go to pay the money back, he has doubled the interest and they can’t afford to pay him. 


He draws up a contract where he buys all their water supply and their rain water.  They can’t even collect water when it rains.  They have to get out of that contract and the King and Queen enlist the help of the Doofuzz Dudes and their great inventor friend the Sandel of Kloon.   They invent an ‘iceblock maker contract breaker’.  Anyhow you will have to read the book to find out how it works and if it saved the day!


The reason I wrote that story was my mother saw a documentary on SBSTV.  It was to do the purchase of the water in Bolivia by a huge American company.  You simply had to pay for every bit of water and there were armed guards stopping people trying to scoop water out of puddles.  It actually happened and I thought it was dreadful.


So I like to put in issues that nag me, such as interplanetary toll roads, the sale of airspace, corruption all set in outer space but obviously the ideas are loosely taken from real life (laughs).  I am very concerned that things in out of space don’t degenerate like they have in the real world!


Gigi:  How do you sell the books?  Do you sell them directly to schools because they cover these issues?


Roslyn:  Well, I published them myself and that limits me a lot.  The first book I did try to get published and it is beyond hard to get published.  One American publishing company said, we get 20,000 manuscripts a year on our desk and we publish 20 books, so that just goes to show you how hard it is.


Gigi:  You would have to reckon then those 20 people are well known authors and the others probably don’t even look in.


Roslyn:  You’re right!   JK Rowlings was rejected by 11 companies I believe.  You have this situation where you wonder if they ever even read your book at all as how would they have the time to read 20,000!  


My first book was rejected by 10 companies and I because I didn’t want to waste anymore time, I thought I’d publish them myself.  So I published one and this year I published two.  There are more to come though as I have written 18 in all.


Gigi:  Maybe you could become a professional publisher yourself?


Roslyn:  Well, I could I suppose.  I call myself one.  But then the book shops are a problem.  They sense a weakness when you haven’t had your work published by a recognised book publisher. 


Big book companies aren’t interested and smaller companies will only take it on as a consignment.  You leave the book there, if they sell it they pay you.  But the thing is they never let you know they have sold it.  How crazy is that! 

If they sell it, they keep the money and unless you want to ring them every single day you will never know they have sold it.  So you ring 6 months later and find the shop has been sold and you end up with nothing.   It happens time and time again. It is such a difficult process of keeping in touch with these bookshops and getting your money.


Gigi:  When you take them to schools, how does that work?


Roslyn:  Last year I went to 85 schools throughout Sydney and spoke to the kids about creative writing.  I spent three days at some schools.  I would go from class to class talking about writing, explaining how I create my characters and showing them how they can get more out of creative writing.   In 95% of cases they buy a set for the school and sometimes the students buy them.


Actually an educational distributor became aware of The Doofuzz Dudes but wanted new covers designed for the books.   But these books also include little black and white pictures drawn by my niece.


Gigi:  They certainly look fabulous.  How much does all this cost?  Have you broken even?


Roslyn:  I have printed many thousands of the books.  They are stacked in my garage!

There is no way I am going to break even any time soon.  I need to make the movie deal to break even. (Laughs)  

I am probably $140,000 down.   The costs involved are huge, printing, artwork, layout, editing and I even paid for a publicist at one point. Money has just gone out the window!


Gigi:  Are you married?


Roslyn:  I have been married but my husband died of cancer in 1991 and I have been living with a man for 10 years now.  He is very supportive.  I do not have any children though.


It is interesting that when we get to 50 we become more focused on creativity.  When I did accountancy I couldn’t write, I just couldn’t do it.   When I began my acupuncture degree strangely I was able to write again.  It occurred to me that when I was doing accountancy I was using the left hand side of my brain, and when I took up acupuncture I was using the right hand side again.  I believe that is because I activated the right hand side of my brain.


Gigi:  Do you still do acupuncture?


Roslyn:  Yes, I do that from home as I have a clinic in my house although a lot of time goes into promoting my books at the moment. 


Gigi:  Have you travelled?


Roslyn:  Yes, far and wide.  My husband was Austrian so I went to Europe with him where I was promptly robbed in the railway station at Budapest.  Lost my passport and all my travellers’ cheques – well that was certainly an adventure! (Laughs)


Gigi: Do you include some of these experiences in your books?


Roslyn:  (Laughs) I go to other planets in my books!


Gigi:  Will you keep writing your Doofuzz Dudes book series?


Roslyn:  (Laughs) Well, I suppose it can’t go on forever!!  Who is going to put 200 books in the one series!!!


Gigi:  Do you think, after the 18 you have written, you would say ‘well now I am going to write the movie script’?


Roslyn:  There are lots of stories in those books that would be terrific for a movie, so that is an option.  I think I would like to get the ones I have published out there first though.


Gigi:  Do you exercise?


Roslyn:  Well, I play tennis with the TV set. (Laughs) I know nothing about these computer type games but I have a Wii. 


Roslyn spends a few minutes explaining the way the Wii works.  You interact with the TV avatars and stand there and ‘play tennis’!!!


Roslyn:  I have built up a good arm muscle and I have never played tennis in my life (screams with laughter)  I have even been sweating which is good as I don’t do any sport otherwise.  I do like going for walks but that is about it.


Gigi:  Do you have a good relationship with your mum?


Roslyn:  Yes we do.  We are going to South America shortly.  I also have

2 brothers and a sister.  One of my brothers has written a science fiction book.


Gigi:  Who had the creative genes, mum or dad?


Roslyn:  My mother - she wrote a poem about having an affair with the dentist and she said she found ‘his drilling thrilling’!   It was such a good poem and very funny.  She was most likely the creative one but was never encouraged by my father.  In those days you had to be there to look after the husband and make things comfortable for him and that was her whole role.


Gigi:  Who made the biggest impact on you?


Roslyn:  My grandfather.


Gigi:  Have you got any advice about ageing?


Roslyn: (Laughs)  For anyone that is interested in my advice, the answer is in book number 8!  The Doofuzz Dudes go to the planet Zot where they recognise the value of elderly people.  How on the planet earth do we get that to work!


What I don’t like about ageing especially, is the thing you get around your face.  You know, this extra bit of fat. You didn’t have that when you were young?  How do you get rid of that!


Gigi:  Smiling and talking a lot help those muscles, I hope!  Would you have plastic surgery?


Roslyn:  I am a bit worried about having it myself.  I am worried about those lines down here (pointing to lines going down at corners of mouth) but you can have them injected with something but I am not sure I want to have that either. 


We talk about movie stars who have had lots of plastic surgery.


Roslyn:  It has a lot to do about being the object of desire of many, many, many men and it would be such a come down if you were not able to attract men in the same way.  Look at Pamela Anderson.  It is going to be a sad comedown for her in a few years. 

You know, it is very hard to get old gracefully when your face and body change.


You know who appreciates older women though, it is British television.  They look after their older actresses.  People watch these things, such as Midsummer Murders, The Bill etc.    Americans don’t.  They always have young beautiful things in their dramas and soapies.  And if they do have an older person, it is one who has had plastic surgery!


Gigi:  You look very theatrically dressed. Do you give a lot of thought to clothing?


Roslyn:  (Laughs) I do like to wear jewellery if I get the opportunity.  I am limited because I am overweight and I think well, I have just got to wear things that fit.  But there are speciality shops you can go to such as Maggie T where the clothes look good and fit.


Gigi:  Do you have any beauty tips?


Roslyn:  (Screams with laughter) Gosh, I must be famous if you are asking me my beauty tips.


Well, I make my own face cream.


I do look at all the ingredients in over the shop bought products and actually get disturbed when I see these chemicals in them.  The shampoo is full of laurel sulphate which is cancer causing.  It is a foaming agent and is in your toothpaste, your bath gels, shampoo and yet you are supposed to feel so beautiful when you whack on a whole lot of laurel sulphate and other chemicals all over your body!


So I make my own shampoos and conditioners out of natural base and then add natural oils, and vitamins and other little bits and pieces such as crushed pearls.  The initial outlay is expensive but it very good so use. 


Whether it has made any difference whatsoever, I don’t know! (Laughs)


I also think being happy is a good thing.  Someone pointed out to me years ago that older women get a sad look on their face. You don’t have it, Gigi. (I pull a face) A lot of women do though, have you noticed it!


As you get older, people have had a lot of bad experiences that is for sure.   There are people who dwell on them and feel very hard done by and then they become bitter.  Some faces reflect that.  

I always feel that illness; especially aged illnesses come from bad experiences in your life, which later on, attack different organs.


There is this water experiment where they got samples of water from dirty, chemical ridden water to spring water, froze them and then scraped off the crystals. 


The water in the spring water had beautiful crystals like beautiful treasure, the ones from the dirty water were dirty black, horrible and distorted. 


Then they got samples of distilled water, put the samples in test tubes and played a different sort of music to each sample.  After they froze and scraped the ice, the samples that had listened to the calming, classical and soothing music had beautiful crystals. The ones that had been ear bashed with heavy rock loud music had distorted crystals. 


Then they did another test where they taped messages on test tubes that contained distilled water.  They wrote angel, beautiful and love on some and they wrote hate, I’m going to kill you, and ugly on others.  Then they froze and scraped and photographed the crystals again.   Sure enough, where they had written the nice messages, the crystals were beautiful and where they had written the nasty messages the crystals were all distorted. 


The point being, our bodies are 70% water, so if we are giving ourselves messages that are nasty, our blood will be full of ugly distorted crystals. 


That could be arthritis for all we know, or it could well be cancer.  It is just an idea but food for thought…..


We talk about food, vegetarian versus meat eating, our pet dogs (we both have had dogs called Indy) and God.   We discuss the illustrations in the books and talk about the area at the back of the books where Roslyn has included a dictionary, a map, glossary and photos and biographies.


Gigi:  What is your plan for the future of these books?


Roslyn:  Well, I am going to really push them in schools next year.  I have a plan to get them out there directly to the kids, because that is ultimately what I would like.  Kids reading my stories……


Gigi:  Well, I wish you every success and every dream fulfilled.  You have created a wonderful life for yourself that is certainly far from boring……


Roslyn leaves me with signed copies of her books and that night I settle into bed and start to read the Black Pearl of Laramoth.  By the time I have met all the characters I am hooked and I begin my voyage to another world - the Doofuzz Dude World created by a very talented over 50 year old.  Bravo!!!

Now for a treat, visit Roslyn's wonderful websites: