21 May 1930 – 16 March 1996
The first time I met Evan Green was in 1975. I was manager of a large Sydney bookshop on the corner of Pitt and Hunter Streets. Evan had just has his book published, Bootful of Arms, about the London-Sahara-Munich World Cup Rally.
I gave his book a full window display because I knew it would appeal to the book buying market in that area. His publishers were very impressed and brought Evan in to meet me. I remember at the time thinking what a great looking man he was and he had a gracious personality to go with it.
We didn’t meet again until the mid-eighties when I decided to become a literary agent. My main goal in this new venture was to start up a list of Australian popular fiction writers as I was concerned that this area of publishing in Australia was being ignored. I was looking for writers that would use Australia as their canvas to tell a good yarn.
Through a stroke of good luck Evan Green’s wife, Yolanta (who I had met when she was a radio announcer on 2GO in Gosford), told me that Evan had written a novel called Alice to Nowhere, and would I have a look at his manuscriot.
So enters Evan Green once again into my life.
This was my first author and Alice to Nowhere was picked up by James Fraser. Within weeks of this happening, I sold the film/TV rights to Crawfords for a two-part mini series starring John Waters, and had sold Evan’s second novel, Adam’s Empire on a four-page synopsis and two working chapters. Wow! I thought, being an agent is easy! I often wonder if I would have been the success I am today as an agent if I didn’t have Evan Green as my first popular fiction author.
This man was not just a good writer, he was a dream author and a thorough gentleman. He had a thousand stories to tell. He used people, the background and the special colours of Australia to weave his wonderful novels, Alice to Nowhere, Adam’s Empire, Dust and Glory, Kalinda, Bet Your life, On Borrowed Time, and his final novel, Clancy’s Crossing.
Evan Green was one of Australia’s greatest storytellers. I am missing him very much and it saddens me to know there won’t be any more stories from him, but thankfully the novels he has written will be around for generations to come.