About Helen

IMG_0862Helen Townsend

I’m a Baby Boomer and I right now I love writing short stories. But I have a past.

I was born in 1947. Emerging from my typical suburban childhood, I became a radical, a hippie, peace lover, student, feminist, environmentalist and an inner city person. Still wearing many of those badges, I returned to suburban life and settled down with a husband, children and a mortgage. People think the suburbs are boring because of the scarcity of nightclubs and bars, but suburbanites have  lives in which there is a lot at stake. Strange and unexpected things happen.

My writing career

I’ve been writing a long time – books, fiction and non fiction, journalism, radio and TV.

I started off in freelance journalism, wrote for radio, worked in television, researched films and have had 22 books published, both fiction and non fiction. Three of them I wrote for or with other people. I’ve been published mainly in Australia, but also in Germany, the U.K. and Czechoslovakia. Two of my books became ABC TV documentaries and another was an ABC radio documentary.

As well as writing short stories, I’m currently doing a final edit of my latest novel, Age Before Beauty, which I intend to publish online.


I read a lot, especially fiction, by writers dead and alive, young and old. I love Dickens and Tolstoy and Jane Austen. Contemporary writers I love to read: Alice Munro, A.S. Byatt, Barbara Kingsolver, David Lodge, Julian Barnes and lots of others. I enjoy non-fiction, especially books about how we think and function, like Guy Claxton’s Noises from the Darkroom (www.guyclaxton.com) and Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test (www.jonronson.com). Each week I wait impatiently for my New Yorker to arrive.

I’m interested in art and music and I dabble in both. I love film but I’m not mad about sci-fi and I hate violence. I’ve watched the Russian film Burnt by the Sun numerous times. And I’ve had multiple viewings of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Caberet and I heart Huckabees. I enjoy theatre and concerts too.

I’m interested in politics domestic and international. I have an appalling sense of geography and I often have to fudge knowing where Kazakstan actually is. Same with international political figures whose names I should remember . I don’t but I’m engaged in the issues.

I love the beach, the bush, walking, gardening and swimming. I’m interested in animals, wild and domestic, their welfare and their non-extinction.

I’m seriously devoted to my family and friends.

3 thoughts on “About Helen

  1. ..sonia ursus satori

    hello helen,
    i love your bit. james linked us.

    and now i’m going to indulge in reading one of your online stories. (I call that a great saturday late nite)

    your website looks great and salvador says he likes you a lot. me too.


  2. Loren

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing for your rss feed and
    I hope you write again very soon!

    1. helen

      Lauren, thank you for your feedback. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I won’t be posting much for a month or so as I’m heading off to Mexico, but will keep in touch. Thanks again. Helen Townsend


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