Bill Bateman launches new title

Bill Bateman practiced medicine for 25 years on Victoria’s rugged south-west coast before moving with his family to the city. Currently he works at an inner suburban GP practice and a drop-in clinic for the homeless. He was the author of a fortnightly (hopefully funny) column in The Australian Doctor, a national medical magazine, and now turns his pen to novel writing.

The sequel to his debut novel (Hard Labour), was launched last night at the Avenue Bookstore. We chat with Bill about writing and his new book, You’re Never The Same.

What type of trouble can we see Dr Vince Hanrahan getting in to in You’re Never the Same? 

Lots! His career is already teetering on the edge and he is ostracised by his family. One false step and he’s facing professional and personal oblivion.

Do you find that your characters and setting of your book is based upon your own experiences as a doctor? 

Very much so. They say you should write about what you know. I’ve been a doctor for 25 years so I should know a bit about the medical scene by now! GPs have a privileged opportunity to observe human nature. My patients are a constant source of wonderment and inspiration.

What drew you to writing? Is it something you’ve always had a passion for, or something you decided to do over time? 

I’ve always been an avid reader and wrote a weekly (hopefully humorous) column in a medical magazine for many years before finally taking the plunge into fiction. Words have always come easily to me – not always the right ones or arranged in the correct order!

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment? 

Having helped create a wonderful family. Family is everything. And I delight in the fact that my children are readers.

What is your biggest motivation for writing?

To spin a yarn that others may want to read and attempt to emulate my literary heroes. (Even just a tiny bit.) 

What inspires you when you’ve hit writer’s block? 

I never do, I don’t have time for writer’s block. Too busy with my day job. When I get the chance to sit at the keyboard, I can always think of something to say.

Describe your writing style in three words.

Droll, parochial, and dialogue heavy.

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