Eaton, Anthony 1971–
Eaton, Anthony 1971–
PERSONAL: Born 1971, in New Guinea; married; wife's name Imogen. Education: College graduate; University of Western Australia, doctoral study (creative writing). Hobbies and other interests: Water activities, traveling, skiing, cycling, hiking, fishing, reading, writing.
CAREER: Educator and writer. Worked variously as a security guard, car park attendant, sailing instructor, and rowing coach; Trinity College, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, teacher of English until 2002; writer, 1997–, and lecturer.
AWARDS, HONORS: West Australian Premier's award for young-adult fiction, and Aureolis Award for Best Adult Fantasy shortlist, both 2000, both for The Darkness; Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) notable book designation, International Youth Library Notable Book selection, Western Australian Premier's Award shortlist and Vision Australia Young Adult Audio Book of the Year award, all 2002, all for A New Kind of Dreaming; Western Australian Premier's Award shortlist, 2003, for Nathan Nuttboard Hits the Beach; Western Australian Premier's Award, 2004, and CBCA Award honor book, 2005, both for Fireshadow; Australian Antarctic Division Antarctic arts fellow, 2005–06; Aureolis Award shortlist for best adult fantasy and for best young-adult fantasy, both 2006, both for Nightpeople.
The Darkness, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 2000.
A New Kind of Dreaming, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 2001.
Nathan Nuttboard Hits the Beach, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland,Australia), 2002.
Fireshadow, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 2004.
The Girl in the Cave, illustrated by Johnny Danalis, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 2004.
Nightpeople (first novel in "The Darklands" trilogy), University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Nathan Nuttboard: Family Matters; Skypeople, the second novel in "The Darklands" trilogy.
SIDELIGHTS: Anthony Eaton took up writing professionally in 1997 after meeting well-known Australian author Gary Crew at a writer's workshop held in Eaton's native West Australia. After a somewhat rough start, Eaton made his publishing debut in 2000 with the award-winning young-adult novel The Darkness, about two young people who find themselves caught up in the fearful mind-set overshadowing their isolated community. Two years later, Eaton resigned from his full-time teaching position at Perth's Trinity College in order to fully pursue a writing career that has earned him young fans of a range of ages. He introduces middle-grade readers to the quirky protagonist of his semi-autobiographical Nathan Nuttboard Hits the Beach, opens up a new fantasy world in Nightpeople, and shares his passion for history with older readers with 2004's Fireshadow. Reviewing Eaton's humorous elementary-grade reader, The Girl in the Cave, Aussie Reviews Online contributor Sally Murphy noted that the book's "twists and turns are zany and unbelievable—which is just what kids like."
Taking place during World War II, Fireshadow follows two seventeen-year-old boys. Erich Pieters joins the German Wehrmacht to fight for Adolph Hitler in 1941, but winds up in an Australian Prisoner of War camp after fighting in North Africa. Half a century later, Vinnie Santiani flees into the remote Australian Bush in an effort to cope with the tragic death of his sister. Despite the fact that they live in different epochs, the boys' lives intertwine with haunting results. A reviewer for Magpies commented that the award-winning novel's "language is exceptional throughout … while the author's insights into the emotional lives of the young people are sensitively conveyed."
On his home page, Eaton commented that, "for me, a story begins with a character—and it is the process of exploring that character's experiences that reveals the story." In planning the three-part series that begins with the futuristic novel Nightpeople, Eaton explained that he "wanted to explore a society turned in upon itself, which has been struggling to survive, and which is reaching the end of its history. I was also keen to write something with a strong female protagonist—so far my main characters have all been male, and I thought it would be fun to try something from another point of view."
IOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Magpies, September, 2000, James Moloney, interview with Eaton, p. 14, review of The Darkness, p. 38; September, 2001, review of A New Kind of Dreaming, p. 38; November, 2002, review of Nathan Nuttboard Hits the Beach, p. 33; May, 2004, review of Fireshadow, p. 41; July, 2004, review of The Girl in the Cave, p. 34; September, 2005, Rayma Turton, review of Nightpeople, p. 42.
School Library Journal, January, 2003, review of A New Kind of Dreaming, p. 138.
Anthony Eaton Home Page, http://members.dodo.net.au/%7Eeatont (September 26, 2005).
Aussie Reviews Online, http://www.aussiereviews.com/ (February 4, 2006), Sally Murphy, review of The Girl in the Cave.
Booked Out Speakers Agency Web site, http://www.bookedout.com.au/ (September 26, 2005), "Anthony Eaton."