Phil lands a novel project after fall

Sil­ver lin­ing: Au­thor puts pen to pa­per after roof­ing ac­ci­dent

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­

IN 1994, Phil Hedger was work­ing on a roof, do­ing a handy­man job for a mate, when he fell through it, 30 feet onto a con­crete floor.

With a bro­ken back, frac­tured skull and bro­ken neck, Phil dragged him­self out­side to his car, where a neigh­bour spot­ted him and called for help.

Phil still doesn’t know how he sur­vived the ac­ci­dent, but he does know his ex­tra-long stay in hos­pi­tal and re­stricted move­ments in­spired an en­tire book of a quar­ter of a mil­lion words.

This was the be­gin­ning of his first novel, When Thun­der Rolls.

“I’ve been telling sto­ries since I was young,” the Eidsvold au­thor said.

Phil’s sto­ry­telling has a fireside qual­ity about it.

He cap­tures the imag­i­na­tion quickly and skil­fully. You might be watch­ing him, but in your mind’s eye rolls a film, filled with his char­ac­ters and their an­tics.

There’s some­thing spe­cial about a good sto­ry­teller. It’s not just the words they choose, or the sto­ry­line – it’s also their or­a­tory skills, dra­mat­ics or sim­ply, their voice.

Phil’s thoughts and sto­ries were writ­ten down due to a dis­as­ter that re­ally should have killed him: When Thun­der Rolls is the sil­ver lin­ing in a dark cloud.

Feel­ing the hand of God in his sec­ond chance, Phil wasted no time sit­ting around – he got home as fast as he was able (con­sid­er­ing his in­juries) and em­barked on a writ­ing ca­reer.

After dal­liances with TV scripts and doc­u­men­taries, and short sto­ries for Truckin’ Life mag­a­zine, he felt there was still more.

“I re­mem­bered the en­cour­age­ment, way back in 1994, from the nurs­ing staff at the hos­pi­tal,” Phil said.

“I mus­tered the courage to put my old rough notes onto a com­puter, thus set­ting the wheels in mo­tion.”

When Thun­der Rolls was pub­lished in 2010, and for the past four years Phil has trav­elled Aus­tralia in his cus­tomised bus, pro­mot­ing his book and telling sto­ries.

He has done many fireside read­ings at road­side camps and car­a­van parks around the coun­try and has a fan trail far and wide.

Phil has now made his home in Eidsvold, and is in the process of writ­ing four new books, all in dif­fer­ent gen­res.

He said he never wanted to be stuck with one for­mat.

“I have other books in the pipe­line, one of which is Mar­lowe and Juliet, mar­keted as the true story of Romeo and Juliet, give or take a lie or two,” Phil said.

“And Shadow, which was born from sto­ries about an en­chant­ing wolf that I used to tell my daugh­ter as a bed­time story.”


STO­RY­TELLER: Phil Hedger is keep­ing him­self busy, with four projects in the works at the mo­ment, all of dif­fer­ent gen­res.

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