Far Away by the Sea — a family history


Marie Bridges grew up in war-torn England where her favourite book, The Wizard of Oz, was her escape from reality. She remembers Dorothy being blown away to another world, wishing the same thing could happen to her. But Marie wasn’t blown away to another world: in 1959, she sailed willingly to an unimaginable land of blue seas and sunshine, with an Australian named Brian Vivian.

Marie reflects on her English childhood and her life in Western Australia — as a theatre sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and eventually a pastoralist’s wife on a Pilbara sheep station where life was extreme: “sometimes beautiful, sometimes treacherous.”

And in gazing back over three generations, she considers the journey of that little girl who was once told she would live far away by the sea.

Work completed: cover and interior book design; image conversion, clean-up, and placement; copy editing; printer liaison; ISBN management
Published: December 2018 (paperback)
Guide price: $29.95 (AUD)
Print length: 135 pages, black and white (text and family tree insert) and colour (images)
Available via: farawaybythesea@gmail.com

A Kaleidoscope of Silence — an anthology


Silence says so much more than voice.

Silence is not only the overarching theme of this collection, but an unseen character in each of these twenty stories.

Work completed: cover and interior book design; photographs; image conversion and placement; copy editing; proof editing; creative liaison
Published: May 2018 (paperback)
Guide price: $19.95 (AUD)
Print length: 96 pages
Available via: wilmamann52@gmail.com

Growing Georgia — a memoir


Georgia has been defined by her illness in many ways but it has never stopped her from getting the most out of life.

It has taken a village to get Georgia here, and the village has created a charming, independent woman. This woman has a story to pass on to generations of people — a story of resilience, valour and hope — and a testament to the power of family love and devotion.

As Georgia’s friend, Tim Scanlon, says, “Georgia…takes steps before others have thought about what shoes to wear.”

Work completed: cover and interior book design; photographs; image conversion, clean-up, and placement; copy editing; proof editing; printer liaison; ISBN management
Published: October 2016 (paperback)
Guide price: $29.95 (AUD)
Print length: 124 pages, full colour
Available via: Growinggeorgia1@gmail.com

The Munja Track — more than a guide


The Kimberley region, in the far north of Western Australia, is among the most remote places on Earth. The Munja area, on the edge of Walcott Inlet, is among the most remote places in the Kimberley.

In 1938, Frank Lacy accepted a government contract to walk 1,000 head of cattle to Munja from Nulla Nulla near Wyndham. The journey took him through rough and largely unexplored country. He was an experienced drover, but it was a formidable task.

Lacy’s feat is just one of many fascinating stories behind what is today the Munja Track – the ultimate 4WD experience. Author Lesley James brings her passion for the bush to this book, an absorbing tribute to the people and beauty of a special part of Australia.

Work completed: interior book design; image conversion, clean-up, and placement; printer liaison
Published: August 2016 (paperback)
Guide price: $19.95 (AUD)
Print length: 100 pages
Available via: the Derby Visitors Centre and the author – hljames@bigpond.com

With Respect — a biography



The idea for this book was born one hot, hazy summer day in 2014 as Ann-Marie Lowry and Wilma Mann sat on a bench under a tree overlooking the Nedlands foreshore.

Ann Marie pointed to the jetty and floating restaurant, the site of the former Nedlands Baths. “My dad lived at the baths when he arrived in Australia as a child,” she said. “You have to meet my dad. He’s had an amazing life. He was eleven when he came here from Japan with his mother, and through his own efforts became a very successful businessman, a pillar of society, a father of six, grandfather of eleven and a life-long traveller. Not bad for a Danish migrant who didn’t have much English when he first arrived.”

Paul Vukelic’s personal journey is all that, and much more. Born in 1930 to a Danish mother and Croatian father, who lived in Paris, his extraordinary life story traverses continents, reveals historic World War II Communist connections, identifies his father as a Russian spy, reveals a Japanese half brother, and culminates in reconnecting with his father’s extensive and far-flung Croatian family.

His story is both remarkable and moving.

‘Super spy story’ – review from The Saturday Paper, 19 December 2015

What stories lie among people who’ve settled in Australia! Earlier this month saw the launch of a privately published biography of Perth resident Paul Vukelic, written by Wilma Mann. A story of a worthy, middle-class, suburban life, except for its connection with the greatest espionage achievement of the past century.

Vukelic’s father, Branko Vukelic, and mother, Edith, were members of the Richard Sorge spy ring in Tokyo, working for Moscow’s Comintern. A German, Sorge was so convincing in his cover as a pro-Nazi journalist that the Gestapo chief at the German embassy vouched for him when the Japanese military police got suspicious. His report that Japan had abandoned any plans to seize territory from the Soviet Union, in favour of a move into South-East Asia, enabled Stalin to concentrate forces against Germany.

Branko also had cover as a pro-Axis journalist. Danish-born Edith was courier for the spy ring, smuggling microfilm and documents to Shanghai where they were transmitted to Moscow by the American communist Agnes Smedley. As the Japanese net closed on Sorge, Edith and 11-year-old Paul got out of Japan in September 1941. Paul saw his father for the last time as their ship sailed. By the time they arrived in Perth, to join Edith’s sister, Japanese police had arrested Sorge and his collaborators. Sorge was hanged; Branko Vukelic died of pneumonia in Abashiri Prison seven months before the war ended. If ASIO were aware of a former Comintern agent settled in Perth, it’s not mentioned in the official history.

Reproduced from: https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/world/north-america/2015/12/19/coal-comfort-paris-climate-talks/14504436002764

Work completed: project planning; interior book design; image conversion, clean-up, and placement; proofing; printer liaison; ISBN management
Published: November 2015 (hardback)
Print length: 200 pages
Available via: wilmamann52@gmail.com

Other Voices — short story collection


Other Voices is a collection of short stories by ten West Australian writers. The collection gives voice to a variety of life experiences, and in particular, to those who are typically unable to speak loudly and clearly for themselves.

The stories convey themes of memory and loss, power and illness, morality, unease and personal tragedy. They take readers on a journey into 19th century England, post-war Europe and Iran, and other imaginary worlds, and to contemporary settings in Australia, France and Italy.

Authors featured in the collection include Sue Braghieri, Rebecca Collins, Dawn Fisher, Amanda Gardiner, John Hollywood, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Wilma Mann, Rashida Murphy, Josephine Taylor, and Hannah van Didden. The introduction is by Richard Rossiter, and the afterword by Ken Spillman.

Work completed: project planning; cover design; ebook conversion; ebook distribution; handover of ebook management to the client
Published: 13 April 2014 (ebook); December 2013 (hard copy).
Guide price: $2.88 (AUD).
Print length: 89
Available: in hard copy from the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre, and as an ebook via Amazon and all major ebook etailers