Stories reflect rural life

DEBUT AUTHOR: Doug Balnaves has released his debut collection of short stories while raising funds for the Stand Like Stone Foundation.

Charlotte Varcoe

PENOLA stalwart Doug Balnaves has made his author debut, exploring rural living while raising funds for a charitable cause close to his heart.

Releasing his first collection of short stories and poetry penned through his experiences within the community over many years, Mr Balnaves’ book Dusty and Other Stories is now available for purchase.

Comprising 18 stories and two poems, a portion of each sale will be donated to the Stand Like Stone Foundation’s Annette Balnaves Sub-Fund, named in honour of Mr Balnaves’ late wife.

“My wife and I have been a huge part of the Stand Like Stone Foundation over many years,” Mr Balnaves – a foundation patron – said.

“So it was only right that $10 of each sale goes into my wife’s trust fund for the charity.”

Mr Balnaves said he has long held an interest in creative writing, which started in his high school years.

The short stories were inspired by what he had seen, heard and imagined while living rurally and aim to further express the regional lifestyle.

“I am proud and also amazed at the fact it has been published but I can’t say it was a dream come true because I didn’t ever think it would happen,” he said.

“Originally I wanted to keep the stories for my grandchildren but my Writers SA mentor Allen Atkinson pushed me to get it published and here we are.”

Mr Balnaves said it was a strange feeling to see his name on the cover of a book but was fantastic to have encouragement along the way.

“There is value in encouraging people who do have an idea no matter what it is,” he said.

“Everyone needs encouragement because without that we wouldn’t have so many wonderful stories or ideas.”

As for future collections, Mr Balnaves said while nothing was set in stone, he had a few ideas.

The book can be purchased online or at Balnaves of Coonawarra’s cellar door.