With the sad passing of one of Australia’s favourite fantasy writers this morning, this week’s author spotlight will feature Sara Douglass.
Sara Douglass was born Sara Warneke in Penola in SA’s south east. Her first career was as a nurse, during which she studied for her Bachelor of Arts. The degree was followed up with a PhD in English history, an interest that is evident in her writing. During the 1990’s whilst lecturing at Bendigo’s La Trobe University campus, she penned her first fantasy novel, Battleaxe which was published by Voyager in 1995. This book was nominated for an Aurelius award, but didn’t win, however the sequels in the series took the prize in 1996.
Sara went on to write another 20 or so novels and a variety of short stories. She died at the relatively early at age of 54 from ovarian cancer.
Very sad news indeed. I’m looking forward to reading The Devil’s Diadem, Sara’s last book. She wrote it while she was undergoing chemotherapy and she described it as a “lifesaver”, and said she enjoyed “every moment of writing it.” I cannot fathom what it must be like to throw yourself into such a project knowing that it will probably be your last.