Author finds his place in Penola

HE moved halfway across the country for love and found his place in the world.

Western Australian author Andrew Ryan hadn't even heard of Penola, the town where his editor - Jan England - was based.

"Jan was editing my work over the internet," he said. "Then over the years and four books, things happened.

"After a while she invited me over and well... we have a lovely relationship now."

It was October last year that Andrew moved to the SE from the hustle and bustle of Fremantle.

"I love it. There's a lot of history here," he said. "And lots of poets and writers - my kind of people. I feel like I am home... Penola seems to be the home of creative people and I fit right into it."

Author Andrew Ryan now lives in Penola after relocating from Western Australia.

Author Andrew Ryan now lives in Penola after relocating from Western Australia.

The welcoming nature of the town struck a chord with the new resident.

"People are so friendly and courteous," Andrew said.

"They seem to be genuinely interested in your story."

He also found the art and culture of Penola to be his thing - noting the recent Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival Coopera performance of Madame Butterfly as a particular example.

"The value of the art in the district is incredible," he said. "Everybody seems to appreciate it."

Always having an affinity for words, Andrew became an author after retiring from his first career - a chef.

He was described as an innovative and creative chef by an international gourmet critic in one of Western Australia's leading newspapers and could have travelled overseas with his career, but chose to remain in Australia.

Now retired, Andrew has the time to pursue his passion.

He has written three books so far: Amati - Of Chance and Coincidence, Amati - Cross the Sea and Change the Sky, and No Traces Backwards. He is currently in the process of writing another novel, A Daisy for Miss Hutcheons.