Selwyn & Jonesy
Magic Manly wouldn't be complete without a resident seagull. Selwyn was created when I was sitting at the magical secret spot one day and happened to see a seagull zooming past my head with a hotdog in his mouth and 3 other seagulls in hot pursuit.
Jonesy was born on a different day when I was watching Tim the fisherman get cross with a big crow who kept chasing the hooks every time he cast his line out. Crows are like magpies and they love shiny things.
Davy was the first character I created when I began to write Magic Manly. Over a week or so, I kept seeing a lone dolphin hanging out in Manly, when usually they travel in pods.
Davy is the eternal optimist, he always looks on the bright side, is very smiley and inquisitive and he is having a ball on his exciting new adventure! I hope he teaches children that life is what you make of it, and being a smiley person.
Leroy is a little bit different.. not sleeping in the day and hanging upside down most of the time. I created Leroy's character because it's important for children to learn about acceptance and respect, even if people might look a bit different, or do different things.
I love owls and have been extremely lucky to have these beautiful creatures visit me on my balcony several times in Manly.
Elvis is a such a little dude, he achieves big things like a huge swim across the Tasman, and he makes friends with everyone he meets.
He is so cheeky, and loves to tell stories and show everyone his blue shoes. I wanted to encourage children to be confident in themselves and to follow their dreams. Elvis joined Magic Manly after I decided not to use a character I had created, until several months later when I came across a photograph of the real Elvis taken by National Geographic magazine.
The late Elvis was a real little penguin who lived at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Barry the bull shark
Barry can be quite naughty and he likes to stir things up a bit because he feels misunderstood and excluded. I wanted to make Barry mischievious, but still with a kind heart.
I put a shark in the books because I am both terrified and fascinated by them at the same time. As a kid swimming in our 30 feet backyard pool at night, I was convinced that Jaws was waiting in the dark water to bite off my legs.
I don't often go in the ocean, though I love to sit near it. The magical secret spot is a real place in Manly where I felt inspired to start writing Magic Manly.
Bruce, Joe & Nicole
I wanted to include Joe, Bruce and Nicole in Magic Manly because they were always so friendly and had time for a chat. Bruce and Joe are brothers in law. Joe is a big softie and always has such a big smile. Nicole was one of the first people to read the drafts of my stories. This woman has the most amazing trainer collection you have ever seen. I'm not sure what Bruce thinks about being in Magic Manly, he's camera shy and won't let me take his photograph!
A few years back, the government took away the Jet Cat service, eliminating a major part of the northern beaches transport. Soon after , a family run whale watching business took over, providing a great friendly service that far exceeded the Jet Cats. A fast ferry war followed when the government decided they would put the fast cats back on because Manly Fast Ferries had been so successful. Manly Fast Ferries were then banished to the narrow finger wharf while the government Sydney Fast Ferries stole the undercover spot at the main wharf. Both fast cats remained in service for several years afterward, creating a flurry of activity around the wharf each morning with constant competition. Many customers remained loyal to Manly Fast Ferries, standing out on the finger wharf in winter in pouring rain, while others just wanted to get to work and didn't care how they got there, rain or not. Manly Fast Ferries then won the tender and remain the sole fast cat service from Manly to Circular Quay, Sydney. A very well deserved win.
Elvis adores Nicole and is completely in love with her shoe collection.
Joe is a bit of a Dad figure and even Barry the bull shark behaves himself when Joe is around.
Thanks guys for being in Magic Manly :)
Manly Fast Ferries