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Mark Shirrefs

answers the Usual Questions

Australian author and screen writer Mark Shirrefs, photograph; 220x319

Mark Shirrefs

Mark Shirrefs is a prolific and award-winning author and screen writer whose work includes such well-known children's series as The Girl From Tomorrow and Spellbinder.

When we spoke to Mark he was working on a collaboration with author Jack Dann .

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

As I work in television rather than writing books, I generally don't get to go to conventions. However I occasionally trawl the Internet to see if anything has been written about my shows.

I am always delighted when I find that someone has taken the time to post a comment. In what is a fairly soul-less industry, its this kind of interest that helps to keep me writing - that and the fact that I really can't do anything else.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

A teacher friend once told me that she saw some kids in her schoolyard playing at being Spellbinders. I was knocked out to think that a TV show I wrote (Spellbinbder) had made such an impression - and a local show at that!

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

About five years ago, my family started a Xmas ritual. Once we've eaten we settle down and watch the 6 hour miniseries Edge of Darkness, made in 1986. In my opinion, this is one of the finest pieces of television ever made. The writing is extraordinary.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

The heads of state from the recent Copenhagen World Environment Conference. I'd love the opportunity to try and make them see that the future of our planet is dependent on co-operation, not competition and isolation.

I'd also like Albert Einstein to be there, simply because he said that imagination is more important than knowledge.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

A woman with whom I once spent three days in a tv series development workshop. She didn't listen, she was only interested in her own ideas and she had the uncanny ability to derail any productive train of thought.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Columbian coffee and Barossa shiraz. The coffee to get the writing underway and the shiraz as a reward for having written.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

To change the way people think. At the very least, to get their imaginations working.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

The process of creation. Making an idea real. I still find it hard to believe that I get paid to have ideas.

Recommended web site: - a great site about all aspects of screenwriting by the very smart and funny minds behind Shrek

submitted by Mark Shirrefs

25 February 2010

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Just the facts:
Born: Sydney, Australia, 1952
Resides: Menzies Creek in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. I live among majestic tall trees that were once used to make sailing ship masts.
Bibliography/Awards includes:
The Girl from Tomorrow
The Mysterious Geographic Exploration of Jasper Morello (won the IF Award)

IMDb entry:

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