Mill Park’s Jude Perera is an accountant by day and children’s author by night who recently released his debut novel, The Beast.
How long have you lived in Mill Park and what brought you to the area?
I have been in Mill Park for 13 years. What brought me here initially was immediate family.
What do you like about your suburb?
I like that it is peaceful and culturally diverse. There is centralised access to everything necessary for good living – good eateries, shopping centres, health, great schools, parks, transport and RMIT.
What, if anything, would you change?
I would like there to be better tram and train access.
How long have you been in Australia and what brought you here?
Almost 20 years. I came from Sri Lanka to do my higher studies in accounting and some of my immediate family had been living in Melbourne for a very long time.
Why did you decide to take up writing?
Accounting is still my profession, but writing is my passion. I started loving short fiction and travel writing and have many publishing credits with several online magazines. The search is over – I don’t have to discover myself any more. It’s an awesome feeling.
Why did you decide to write a children’s book?
There were several reasons – profound nostalgia, a tribute to childhood, a felicitation to my favourite childhood author, Enid Blyton, and an ode to the Horton Plains. Horton Plains is an ecological wonder that nestles in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is a magical place protected by the clouds and overflowing with serenity where leopards prowl in the shadows. It’s a place that fascinated me as a child, and still does to this day.
What was your inspiration for the story?
My two sons. I always wanted to write a book that would be among the first they would read when they came of age. Also, how childhood ties outplay all prejudices and divisions. The children in this story are drawn from different socio-economic and religious backgrounds – Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu. Their respective religious and cultural affiliations and rituals bind them together rather than separate them.
What’s your favourite local place to spend your spare time?
What’s your favourite local place to spend your spare time?A quiet walk among the rustic charms of Redleap Reserve.