ABOUT THE AUTHOR Elsie (Allen) Johnstone was born in Lakes Entrance and educated in Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale and Melbourne. She was a primary school teacher and special education specialist for thirty years until she left teaching to write, initially in the family business ‘The Wordsmith’s Shop, in Mentone a unique establishment that boasted ‘anything you want written we will write’ to a wide range of both corporate and private clients. Later, her first book Our Little Town, Growing Up in Lakes Entrance was published in 2009. It is a snapshot of life across four generations as told by twenty-eight members of the Allen clan, an old fishing family. In 2009, she lived and worked in Ireland where she joined forces with her husband, Graeme Johnstone to write Lover, Husband, Father, Monster (2010) a chilling tale of a well-meaning marriage that goes wrong. It is told in two voices, his and hers. Upon returning to Melbourne, she began work on Ma’s Garden, using the files of the “Trafalgar and Yarragon Times” as her inspiration. Elsie also has had success as a short story writer, winning awards for her snapshots of life, turning real incidents and events into engaging stories with a twist. On the domestic front, Elsie is the mother of four children, three of whom are writers, and grandmother of eight, some of whom aspire to be writers. She and her husband Graeme live in their home of forty years in Beaumaris on Port Phillip Bay.
In 1902, Christopher and Ethel Johnstone left the city with their young family to open a country newspaper and printing office in Trafalgar in Gippsland. ‘Ma’s Garden’ is a gentle tale about the first year of their new life, the people they meet, their tribulations and celebrations. This is the story of the essence of a small town and its people, which was not so different then as it is today. Ethel Johnstone planted her garden on a barren block in a tiny town carved out of the Australian bush. She embarked on the project with little knowledge but with much hope and optimism for the future in her heart. Fifty years later, the seeds and plants had grown and matured and her garden had morphed into a beautiful haven. At the same time, her husband Christopher put trust in his skills and in the future, establishing “The Trafalgar and Yarragon Times” a new business that would reward him by providing for his family for nearly six decades. As the garden grew, so did their lives, their family and their community.
Books are available now from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Mas-Garden-Elsie-Johnstone/dp/0987189557 Books will be available on the day @ $20.00 per copy.