Paul Bland is a retired school principal and Anglican priest living in inner suburban Brisbane, Queensland. His wife of more than forty years is Christine. They have two adult children both of whom have moved far away to follow their dreams overseas. The older boy, Gordon, is a doctor working in Dubai. He and his lovely wife, Trish, are the parents of Katie and Emily – the heroines of the stories offered here. Paul’s second son, Lachlan, is working as a computer software engineer in the United States. Lachlan is married to Roula and they have a home in a high rise in the lively city of Seattle.
Most of Paul’s professional life has been spent in North Queensland. Years in Mackay, Ingham, Cairns and Mount Isa provided the inspiration for many of the stories in this collection.
Paul began writing stories for his grand daughters, Katie and Emily, when the girls were very small. Sleep-overs at Nanny and Grandad’s were special and precious times and the day always finished with a story in which the girls were the heroes. In time, the family tradition was established that Grandad would produce a Christmas story for the girls and a birthday story for each of them. This explains why some of the stories feature only one of the girls.
The stories are always positive and optimistic with a strong dose of whimsy. They attempt [not always successfully] to be politically correct. Oh, and they are powerfully feminist in their theme and structure: the girls are the originators of the action, the problem solvers in a crisis and the resourceful authors of their own salvation. On more than one occasion they save the world; they always stand up to bullying and the abuse of power. There is a strong Christian component to many of the stories as well, with an emphasis on redemption and atonement - always explored at a level that children can understand.
The stories usually stand alone but there is a logical order to them, particularly to the Christmas stories where the same characters appear over the years. The text generally indicates the order in which they might be read.
It is the writer’s hope that other grandparents will enjoy sharing these stories with their grandchildren.
The stories read well aloud and people downloading them for their children and grand children will find that the chapter stories make good bedtime serials. After all, that’s how they were written to be read.
Like every writer, Paul loves feedback. If you enjoy a story, please drop him a line.