Meet June Kingston Smith

 

As "ten pound Poms" I came to WA with my parents and brother to live in Yarloop, a sleepy little timber town which offered us a vastly different life from the one we had in Portsmouth. At sixteen I began working in Perth at a secretarial service in the Terrace, and then worked for my boss's sister who was situated in the Supreme Court building, where I began training for the typing of court proceedings using Dictaphones. I was only there a few months but during that time Edgar Cook's trial was running and I heard the judge give him his sentence.

My working life then took me to a typing pool in the offices of the Midland Workshops, and then to working for a psychologist in the Mental Health Services in West Perth.

During this time I married my childhood sweetheart and we had a daughter and son. While being "just a housewife" I started my own secretarial service, working on my trusty old manual typewriter on the kitchen table after the kids were in bed. A few notices on boards at supermarkets and the university brought me steady work.

When our son was two I started my long stint (35 years) as a copytaker for The West Australian - a very interesting place to work. The night Lindy Chamberlain's verdict was announced I was the person taking the copy from Margot Lang in Darwin, with sub editors leaning over my shoulders in anticipation of their headlines.

During all this time I wrote some short stories and a novel (still in my drawer). I had articles published in the Travel and Habitat sections of The West and they also gave me a short column in the weekly magazine to write a restaurant critique.

I joined the Society of Women Writers (WA) in 1986 and won the Bronze Quill that year for  my story In Another Place (judged by Tim Winton), which is now included in Stories From Another Place.

Over the years my husband of 51 years and I have done a lot of travelling and raised two lovely children. Our daughter is a travel agent married to a chef (a bonus for us) with two children and our son is a successful songwriter/musician who lives in Melbourne with his wife and six-year-old daughter.

Our daughter's son, Adam, 13, has just run second for Years 7-9 category in the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers for his short story. He has been writing for years and loves the same genre as me, so we have some wonderful conversations.

 

My first book Stories From Another Place is a collection of tales of the supernatural, about ordinary people who find themselves in unusual circumstances or are confronted by the unexplained. It is available from myself, Planet Books and Beaufort Street Books (both in Mt Lawley) and Amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/author/june-kingstonsmith).