Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 26, 2014

Meet an Aussie Author: Tristan Michael Savage

Tristan Michael Savage

I discovered the writing of Tristan Michael Savage recently when I read his SF fantasy novel Rift Breaker for Indigenous Literature Week 2014.  (See my review).  My dear old mother discovered his writing when on my recent visit I left the book lying about, and she loved it!

So it is with pleasure that I would like to introduce you to the author, who has kindly agreed to participate in Meet an Aussie Author. 

Tristan was born in Maryborough and grew up in Townsville.   At James Cook University he took a Bachelor of Creative Arts with a major in Theatre and also a Bachelor of Theatre (Honours).   In just a few short years since graduating in 2010, Tristan has had some remarkable achievements:

In 2011 he won first place in Deadly Funny, a national stand-up comedy competition at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and in 2012 he toured his one-person theatrical comedy show Australian Ghost to audiences across the country.   The following year in 2013 Tristan was awarded a Black&Write! Fellowship with the State Library of Queensland for Rift Breaker, which was published by Magabala Books in 2014 and took out the Kris Hembury Encouragement Award for emerging artists as part of the Aurealis Awards.

Tristan took time out from his busy schedule to show us his writing space and to answer my questions –  and here they are:

Tristan Michael Savage (desk)1. I was born at the Lady Musgrave Hospital in Maryborough QLD on the 2nd of December 1985.

2. When I was a child I wrote stuff for school mostly. Then I graduated and started writing whatever I wanted. I began a sci-fi story. Ten years later it was published.

3. The person who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write is/was one of my high school teachers. She told me I had some talent. I’ll never forget that moment – even though I’ve since forgotten her name.

4. I write in my flat, at my desk, with the curtains drawn, in the dark, growing a beard, obsessing over commas and quotes. I’ve no time for coffee shops.

5. I write when my thoughts are clear, in the morning and in the evening.

6. Research is a word used to describe anything I do when I’m not writing: eating, sleeping, watching movies, motorcycle maintenance… it’s all life experience and therefore “research”.

7. I keep my published work/s on my bookshelf next to all my other books on how to write good.

8. On the day my first book was published, I slept in. It was great!

9. At the moment, I’m writing a sitcom, a novel, and a stand-up comedy show.

10. When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I do “research” – then look in my thesaurus.

I know exactly what Tristan means about writing in coffee shops: I can read amid any kind of hustle and bustle, but when it comes to writing I need a quiet space and no interruptions.  My friends know not to drop in unannounced!

Wouldn’t it be nice if Tristan’s teacher stumbled on his handsome face here at Meet an Aussie Author and recognised him as that youth with the talent she noticed! What a thrill it would be to learn that a brief comment in a busy day had had such a remarkable effect and inspired a writing career!!

(I moved around a lot over three continents as a child and though I can remember some faces, I can’t remember the names of any of my teachers, not until my last school here in Australia and some of them are a blur too.  I’d love it if one of them popped up here with a comment and introduced him/herself.  (I’ve still got the same name).

You can buy Tristan’s books at Fishpond (Rift Breaker) or direct from Magabala Books or any good bookshop.


  1. How remarkable to have achieved so much at such a young age. Good on you Tristan.
    And there you go … another teacher who has made a difference. I know I’ve said it before and I’ll probably still be saying it twenty years from now but teachers have the ability to shape our lives in remarkable ways. I wish we could go back to the days of letting them teach in the manner they see fit, rather than having to spend half their time filling in forms, meeting goals and putting square pegs into round holes. I also wish we could pay them more money!


    • LOL I like the idea of more money!
      I can only speak for our school, where – yes, we have our share of administrative mumbo-jumbo and it’s my job to deal with a lot of it – but I know that our teachers love their job. Just last week I ran a workshop where we considered our progress in implementing a new writing program – and the excitement in the room was palpable as our teachers shared their delight in the kids’ response to the changes. And you know, there was some very bad teaching in the days when teachers could do their own thing, I saw some of it and what I saw was a waste of children’s learning time. Whatever The Australian might have to say about it, (and that newspaper loves to run articles about how awful schools are, not private schools of course, only the government ones) schools are much better places than they used to be: happier, more purposeful, more tailored to individual needs, more connected to the real world in lots of ways.
      We got a lab full of brand new computers yesterday – our tekkie is spending his weekend installing them – and I can’t wait to see the first class using them:)


  2. Really enjoyed this post. What a remarkable and busy young man. I’ve met many people who don’t remember their teachers. I must be an exception (or an oddity) as I remember the names of all my teachers from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Keep up the great work!


    • Hello, Mike, nice to meet you:) Tristan an impressive young man, I agree!


  3. I remember several teachers names … From my two primary schools, and from my first and last high school, but none from the two middle ones. Pretty well all the ones I remember were great or they were characters. Like you Lisa I still have my name …

    Oh, and loved this introduction. I must try to read him. I too was born at Lady Musgrave Hospital in Maryborough, but a couple of years before Tristan ;-)


  4. LOL just a couple…


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