Reggie Carstairs is a 11-year-old dog who has been captivating listeners for quite some time thanks to Hills resident Carmel Liddell.
Reggie started his “diary” at the Castle Hill writers’ group Carmel leads a few years ago. “I used to write a chapter every week,” said Carmel.
The short stories covered Reggie’s life with Charles Carstairs and his maid Winnifred who doesn’t have the best relationship with Reggie. In retaliation, Reggie successfully plots to replace her with Zarza, a dog-loving Hungarian maid.
Carmel said she knew she wanted to write a story from a dog’s point of view.
“Each of the little stories was written on a weekly basis and at the end, I thought (the collection) should be one story.”
Reggie’s observations on the similarities between man and dog are humorous.
Carmel signed with UK publisher Austin Macauley in London two years ago, just before COVID hit, but has had to wait sometime for Reggie Carstairs: Behind Closed Eyes to be published.
It was published a few months ago during the Sydney Lockdown.
“Everything seems to stop for a while but it’s now available at all the major bookshop shops,” she said. She has just signed the contract to publish her second book which is about four school friends from the 60s, which is due out next year.
Carmel has been a member and leader of the Writer’s Group at the Uniting Church for over 10 years.
While the Writers’ Group hasn’t met much during Lockdown it plans to return to meetings at Wesley Uniting Church, Showground Rd, Castle Hill on Tuesday mornings, 9.30am to 11.30am from January 11th next year (2022).
“We always amuse ourselves in the group,” says Carmel. “Lots of fun and laughter. People are always welcome to drop in.”