Terry Quinn turns his quill to novel work
PACKING away the keyboard after a near four-decade career in newspaper publishing was never going to be an option for Terry Quinn.
The former APN Editor-in-Chief, who began work as a junior reporter on a small weekly paper in his native Scotland and went on to further his career in the US, Canada, and New Zealand before settling in Australia on the Sunshine Coast, retired from his high-powered position seven years ago.
After decades of hitting the keyboard reporting hard news across the globe and overseeing busy international newsrooms, writing was as natural to him as breathing.
However, writing an action thriller was something else altogether.
But Quinn had long had a passion for reading this genre and his imagination had him tapping the keyboard most afternoons, and within a short time he had completed a nail-biting thriller.
In an even shorter time it was snapped up by international publishing house Simon & Schuster.
Entitled The Scoop, the book will be on bookshelves early next year and Quinn now faces an entirely new career at an age when most retired men plan only of fitting in more golf.
The Scoop follows protagonist, successful Aussie journalist/writer Jonno Bligh, as he gets caught up in modern-day piracy in South East Asia.
Despite crippling personal problems, he rescues a British woman from a brutal ordeal at the hands of a ruthless pirate boss.
"It sounds a bit bloodthirsty but I also hope there is a sensitive portrayal of a fragile love story set against a bitter backdrop of regret, revenge and redemption,” Quinn said.
The idea for the blockbuster came to Quinn in that moment between wakefulness and sleep.
"To help me sleep I close my mind and focus tightly on being in a small, confined space,” he said.
"Over the years, it has been everything from a houseboat to a jail cell. Recently I started to lock on to a sailing boat. The Scoop literally developed from there.”
The Scoop brims with cliff-hangers and nail-biting scenes that take the reader to the edge of the seat, quite a different style of writing to reporting news.
"It came naturally for one reason,” Quinn said.
"I have read voraciously since I was a child, gazillion books, thousands of wonderful writers. Some of their inspiration must have rubbed off. I loved creating more and more tension and suspense.”
Quinn is the perfect example of a man living a full and productive life after retiring from a high-powered career.
Although he still gets out on the golf course as often as he can, and also enjoys a busy social and family life, writing and working after retirement have now offered him a new career opportunity. And there is another novel well underway and a third bubbling in his mind.
"I feel greatly excited and energised,” he said.
"Since retiring I have tried to keep both body and mind vigorously exercised. Having a second career now guarantees that I will have to keep in shape for many years to come.”