John Bell was born in Kavieng, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. Now retired, he and wife Carol call Airlie Beach, North Queensland, Australia home.
John’s early years were spent New Guinea, and from there he has lived in Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia, Europe and S.E. Asia and, with Carol, has travelled widely both nationally and internationally.
His life has been as varied and as challenging as some of his characters: having grown Macadamias, run cattle, been a restaurateur, wildlife park owner, property developer, storage operator, senior public servant, practising solicitor, Justice of the Peace and tax agent, as well as growing tropical fruit commercially. In his earlier years he worked as a paper boy, a surveyor’s chainman, brushed scrub, worked in a timber mill, was a prelim. boy in the old Brisbane Stadium, cut cane both burnt and plants, picked tobacco and picked fruit along the Murray River!
During the heady early ‘70s he became a part-owner/manager of ships, both charter and tramp, working from Europe and around the S.W. Pacific into Kieta, Bougainville on a regular basis, and Amamapare in West Irian.
A keen sailor, water skier, pilot and spear fisherman, he completed National Service in the Royal Australian Navy. Naturally, he has a great affinity with, and an inherent love of the ocean and its reefs, boating of any kind, his wife, family and good friends.
John was first published in an Australian magazine as a short story writer when in his twenties. However, it’s only now in his retirement that he can truly enjoy and pursue his dream.