Condon, Bill 1949-

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CONDON, Bill 1949-


PERSONAL: Born April 21, 1949, in Sydney, Australia; married Dianne Bates (a writer). Hobbies and other interests: Scrabble, tennis, films, playing with his dog.

ADDRESSES: Home—20 Kulgoa Rd., Woonona, New South Wales, Australia. E-mail—[email protected]


CAREER: Children's book author, poet, and playwright. Formerly worked as a journalist, truck driver, greyhound trainer, punter, and factory worker.


AWARDS, HONORS: Children's Book of the Year honour book for older readers, Children's Book Council of Australia, 2001, for Dogs; Kids Own Australian Literature Award (KOALA) for Younger Readers, 2001, for Miss Wolf and the Porkers.

WRITINGS:


fiction


(With Dianne Bates) The Slacky Flat Gang, Brooks Waterloo (South Melbourne, Australia), 1988.

That Smell Is My Brother, Pascal Press (Glebe, Australia), 1990.

What a Stinker! (stories), illustrated by Stephen Francis, Heinemann Australia (Sydney, Australia), 1992.

Auntie Spells Trouble, illustrated by Rex W. Turnbull, Angus & Robertson (Pymble, Australia), 1992.

The Jolly Green Monster, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen, Heinemann Australia (Sydney, Australia), 1992.

Hooked on Bananas, illustrated by Simon Bosch, Angus & Robertson (Pymble, Australia), 1995.

(With Dianne Bates) The Case of the Kidnapped Brat, Mammoth (Dingley, Australia), 1995.

The Princess and the Martians, illustrated by Mervyn Pywell, Heinemann Australia (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

(With Dianne Bates) Bushranger Bob and the NudeOlympics ("Bushrangers" series), Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1999.

(With Dianne Bates) No Nickers and the ChristmasDay Hold-Up ("Bushrangers" series), Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1999.

(With Dianne Bates) Ned the Nong and the Kelly Kids ("Bushrangers" series), Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1999.

Top That! ("Spin Out" series), Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1999.

Poor Jason! ("Spin Out" series), Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1999.

Master of Disaster ("Trend" series), Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1999.

Bonkers Conquers ("Trend" series), Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1999.

Frizz, illustrated by Coral Tulloch, Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1999.

Miss Wolf and the Porkers ("Aussie Bites" series), illustrated by Caroline Magerl, Penguin Books Australia (Victoria, Australia), 2001.


for young children


Alike and Different, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1995.

You Know Who, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

It Could Be Worse, illustrated by Mark Sofilas, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996, Rigby (Crystal Lake, IL), 1998.

We're Okay, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

Can I Do That? Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

Can Topsy Talk? Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

I Wonder What That Means, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

Depending on Each Other, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

Airport Adventure, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1997.

Max and Mintie, illustrated by Edward Crosby, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1997, Rigby (Crystal Lake, IL), 1998.

The Wacky Machines, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1997, Rigby (Crystal Lake, IL), 1998.

Our Canteen, Rigby (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1997, Rigby (Crystal Lake, IL), 1998.


"creepers" series


(With Robert Hood) Loco-Zombies, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1996.

(With Robert Hood) Slime Zone, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1996.

(With Robert Hood) Freak Out!, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1996.

(With Robert Hood) Bone Screamers, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1996.

(With Robert Hood) Ghoul Man, illustrated by Hood, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, Australia), 1996.

(With Robert Hood) Rat Heads, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Ryalmere, Australia), 1997.

(With Robert Hood) Feeding Frenzy, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1997.

(With Robert Hood) Brain Sucker, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1997.

(With Robert Hood) Humungoid, illustrated by Hood, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1997.


"supa doopers" series


Holly and Mac, illustrated by Gus Gordon, Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1997, Sundance (Littleton, MA), 1999.

Snow Bright and the Seven Sumos, illustrated by Ian Forss, Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1997, Sundance (Littleton, MA), 1999.

Snow Bright and the Tooth Magician, illustrated by Ian Forss, Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1998, Sundance (Littleton, MA), 1999.

A Waste of Space, illustrated by Coral Tulloch, Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1998, Sundance (Littleton, MA), 1999.

King Arthur and the Square Table, illustrated by Ian Forss, Longman (South Melbourne, Australia), 1999.


"twisted tales" series


Chunderella, illustrated by Terry Denton, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1998.

Bumplestiltskin, illustrated by Terry Denton, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1998.

Pop-Eyed Piper, illustrated by Terry Denton, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1998.

Jack and the Magic Baked Beans, illustrated by Terry Denton, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, Australia), 1998.



other


(With Dianne Bates) Madcap Café and Other Humorous Plays, Brooks Waterloo (South Melbourne, Australia), 1986.

(With Dianne Bates) Operation Lily-Liver: A ShadowPlay, illustrated by Geoff Hook, Macmillan (South Melbourne, Australia), 1987.

Wonkyzap and the Timetwister (play), Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1987.

Starring Samuel Snodgrass: A Collection of Plays, illustrated by Randy Glusac, Nelson (Melbourne, Australia), 1988.

Jerry the Jerk (poetry), Pascal Press (Glebe, Australia), 1990.

(With Dianne Bates) Stagestruck: A Collection ofPlays, illustrated by Kathryn Pentecost, Harcourt Brace Jovanvich (Sydney, Australia), 1992.

Don't Throw Rocks at Chicken Pox (poetry), Angus & Robertson (Pymble, Australia), 1992.

A Feast of Funny Plays, Reed Library (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1993.

Plays to Entertain, Heinemann Australia (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1994.

Villains (nonfiction), Cardigan Street (Carlton, Victoria, Australia), 1996.

Heroes (nonfiction), Reed Library (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1996.

Far out and Funny Plays, two volumes, Longman (Melbourne, Australia), 1997.

Those Who Dared (nonfiction), Heinemann Australia (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1998.

Billy Drake's Cake (reader), Macmillan (South Yarra, Australia), 2000, illustrated by Philip Webb, Wright Group (Bothell, WA), 2000.

Dogs (young-adult novel), Hodder Headline (Sydney, Australia), 2000.


WORK IN PROGRESS: More books for children; a young-adult novel.


SIDELIGHTS: Prolific Australian children's author Bill Condon has written more than seventy children's books since beginning his writing career in the early 1980s. "Nearly all of my work is humorous," Condon told CA, "though in 2000, I wrote a serious young-adult novel titled Dogs, which is about teenage boys and their fathers, all set in the world of greyhound racing." A book about overcoming intergenerational differences, Dogs was named a Children's Book Council of Australia honour book for older readers in 2001.

Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1949, Condon was not the most enthusiastic student; as was noted on a biographical essay posted on his Web site, he "left school at the first chance he got" and worked in a succession of jobs that included training greyhounds for the racetrack, doing yard work, working in a milk factory, and driving a truck. He stumbled into a temporary job as a journalist with a small-town weekly newspaper that lasted ten years, then branched into his successful career as a children's book author. Writing is, for Condon, "the only vocation he [ever] felt an affinity for."

Most of Condon's books are designed to capture the interest of reluctant elementary school-aged readers, and his many fans can attest to his success. In addition, Condon's 2001 book Miss Wolf and the Porkers received a coveted Kids Own Australian Literature Award (KOALA). A Magpies contributor was quick to point out that Miss Wolf and the Porkers "certainly puts a different spin" on the familiar story about the three little pigs. In Condon's humorous version of the story, the wolf is an elementary school librarian who has three young and rambunctious pigs forced upon her in the form of not-so-willing library assistants. The three piglets decide that the library is much too dull a place, and their efforts to liven things up prompt Miss Wolf to regress to her wolfish roots and plan a lunch menu that includes a few pork tenderloins. Fortunately for the piggies, school principal Mr. Kidney intervenes just in time to save the hairs on all three piggy chinny-chin-chins.

Other books by Condon include a number of installments in the "Creepers" series—which includes titles such as Slime Zone, Ghoul Man, and Brain Sucker—that provide school-aged readers a dollop of spine-tingling horror. The "Creepers" series was a collaboration between Condon and illustrator and friend Robert Hood; the two passed chapters back and forth via fax during the writing process. Toddlers also become an enthusiastic audience for a selection of books by Condon featuring simple texts designed for the very young. Particularly attractive to reluctant readers, the author's "Twisted Tales" series features titles based loosely on traditional fairy tales, but any moralizing in the original is replaced by a healthy dose of gross-out fun. Chunderella, for example, finds a hefty princess with a healthy appetite attracted to an equally rotund Prince Percival, and readers witness a match made in the kitchen as the portly pair fall in love over plates of Brussels sprouts doused with chocolate sauce. Jack and the Magic Baked Beans similarly sets the time-honored "Jack and the Beanstalk" on its edge as Condon adds a bald emu and a giant with a sore backside to the story's cast of characters.

Supplementing his collection of fiction for children, Condon has also authored several plays designed for young audiences, as well as volumes of children's poetry. A full-time writer, he lives with his wife near the city of Sydney, New South Wales, on the Australian coast.


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


periodicals


Magpies, July, 2001, review of Miss Wolf and thePorkers, p. 20.


online


Bill Condon Home Page,http://www.users.bigpond.com/billcondon/bill.html (April 5, 2003).

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