Geoff Barlow is an Australian author who writes mystery and adventure novels, loves the great outdoors and teaches information science at a regional university.
He grew up and still resides in rural South-East Queensland, the setting for many of his stories. He is passionate about poetry, classic detective and sci-fi tales, steam trains, steampunk, and the music and ethos of the 1960s and 70s.
Geoff holds a degree in Library Science from Charles Sturt University, with a major in English Literature, and won the inaugural Zenith Library and Information Science Prize in 2001. He has worked as a librarian, legal researcher and university lecturer. He has also taught creative writing, run workshops on a variety of literary topics, and delivered public lectures on Golden Age TV shows.
Geoff’s runaway novel Moonlight Express is the first in a series featuring lawyer and amateur detective Tessa Scott, a young woman torn between her city career, her country heritage and her passion for helping out those in trouble. It is a story of chilling mystery – of phantom train whistles, and headlights which glow mysteriously along abandoned sections of railway track. The centerpiece of the story is a spectral, coal-fired locomotive which many locals claim is the reincarnation of the Diablo, a powerful steam engine which crashed on its maiden journey through Queensland’s Mirambeena Valley in 1927. Now it’s back – and it’s picking up unwilling passengers, for a one way journey. When an old university acquaintance goes missing, it’s up to Tessa to resolve the situation once and for all, with danger and adventure round every curve of the track.
Moonlight Express has proved immensely popular with readers all across Australia and around the world, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom. The follow-up Lion Eyes is set for publication in 2016.
Geoff’s previous writing has straddled several genres. Between 1989 and 1994, he wrote “the Missing Cases”, a series of authorised novellas based on the famous 1960s TV series The Avengers. Published by the officially-sanctioned Avengers Fan Clubs, On Target and Stay Tuned, these stories received glowing reviews in the Sunday Mail and a range of regional newspapers.
In recent years, Geoff collaborated with author, journalist and academic John Cokley to publish the steampunk novella The Yarra Yowie, a tale of mystery and intrigue set in 19th century Australia. The story features Burke and Wills – not the famous explorers, but a daring and eccentric duo of colonial super sleuths who set out to investigate sightings of the Southern Hemisphere’s equivalent to Bigfoot and the Yeti.
Geoff’s non-fiction writing has spanned a diverse array of topics, and has appeared in a variety of publications ranging from academic law journals to lifestyle magazines, library reviews and TV fanzines. His articles on notable Queensland Governor Sir Walter Campbell, co-written with Professor James Corkery and published in the Owen Dickson Society E-Journal, were acknowledged in 2015 with an invitation to Government House. Soon to be combined in book format, the articles have been cited in the Canadian Parliamentary Review, a range of Australian legal journals and several academic texts.
Geoff has had well over a hundred articles published in Australian newspapers, while his novelty pieces and reminisces about popular TV series have also appeared in UK-based specialty magazines.
Geoff is available for public speaking engagements via the contact page.