Nick Earls was born in Northern Ireland and moved with his family to Australia in 1972. He was educated at the Church of England Grammar School and graduated from the University of Queensland in 1986 with an honours degree in medicine. During the late 1980s and early 1990s he worked in general practice, hospitals and for an insurance company while building his career as a writer.
Earls published a book of poems in 1985 and a collection of short stories in 1992, but he attracted most attention when he published Zigzag Street and the young adult novel After January in 1996. Earls won several prizes for these works and has since pursued a career that produces fiction for adults and young adults. He won more awards for the young adult novel 48 Shades of Brown (1999) and has built a substantial following with adult novels like Bachelor Kisses (1998) and Perfect Skin (2000). Widely admired for the comic elements of his fiction, Earls has performed some of his works at festivals. Some of his works have been adapted for the theatre and several screenplays are also under development. He has written a number of plays that have been performed in Australia and England.
Earls has also written jingles, comedy scripts and corporate videos. He has been involved with several charities and has assisted with the marketing of his home-town Brisbane. In 2006 Earls was named Queensland's Multicultural Champion in recognition of his 'energetic and passionate advocacy for the rights of refugees and the disadvantaged' and also The University of Queensland's 2006 Alumnus of the Year.
The story's narrator, Paul, remembers 'a giant who came to stay with his family when his father was trying to bring American football to Australia. The tall guy in question was a player called Knut Knudsen; as a small boy, our narrator sees him as the modern day equivalent of the Colossus of Rhodes. Knudsen has dreams of becoming of all things, a writer. And it turns out that when our narrator is all grown up, he himself has become a writer, and is on an author tour to a Canadian festival... As a side trip from his festival appearances, he reconnects with Knudsen, who has published several books and is now married and teaching creative writing at a university college' (Caroline Baum, Booktopia).
'Vancouver is the story Paul tells in plague times. It’s about the giant that influenced his life, it’s about the day the world changed, it’s about what happens when our giants come tumbling down. Think, any one of Giovanni Boccaccio’s stories from Decameron' (Avid Reader).
New Boy2015single work children's fiction children's
'Adjusting to a new country and a new school was never going to be easy for Herschelle. The food is strange, it's so different to South Africa and, worst of all, no one understands the Aussie slang he's learnt on the web.
'But it's the similarities that make things really hard. Herschelle will have to confront racism, bullying and his own past before Australia can feel like home . . .
'A moving, funny new novel by one of Australia's best-loved authors.' (Publication summary)