Margaret Innes

New Worlds: Reading, Writing and the Imagination


Writers can probably be said to lead dull lives because we spend a lot of our time in solitude, working, living in our imaginations, building the narrative on the page.  Some writers say you should let your books speak for you because they reflect your true personality.   Other writers say that there’s no relationship between the real person they are and the fictions they create on the page.  My opinion is it doesn’t matter which of those statements is true as long as the books are good reads.  So while you can find most of this information about me on Facebook, this is the shrink-lit edition of my biography.

I am an award winning  writer who publishes non-genre fiction under my own name and crime fiction under the name of Alex Palmer.  I was born in London and through a love of reading knew from very early on that I wanted to become a writer.  It’s fair to say I’ve never really wanted to do anything else but it’s also true that life got in the way of  me achieving that wish for quite some time.  My family left England in the late 1950s and I’ve lived, for longer or shorter times, in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.  I gained my BA Honours degree from Macquarie University and have worked variously in aged care, as an archivist and as a business analyst.  I’ve travelled throughout Australia and in Asia, Europe, North America  and the UK.  Now I live and work in North Canberra with my husband.

I began to write seriously when I was forty.  In 1997 I was offered my first contract for the publication of a novel Past Secrets while at the same time I was made redundant from  my  position in the public service.  Ever since then I’ve been a full-time writer.  I’ve published crime as Alex Palmer and non-genre fiction as Margaret Innes – you check my pages for these publications.   For a number of years I taught a highly praised creative writing course both at the Canberra Institute of Technology and out in regional New South Wales.  I’ve received grants from the Australian Council and artsACT and appeared as a guest speaker for the Society of Editors and for Sisters in Crime.  I’ve been a member of Pen International (ACT) and the artsACT Peer Assessment Committee for Literature.   I’m currently a member of the Australian Society of Authors.

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