Talk-Talk Therapy with Neil Boyack
Shane Warne, and the father figure
– a chat with Annabel Tellis (AKA Victoria Coverdale).
Annabel Tellis is a writer, a mother of three, and a blogger. Her most popular book, a Children’s title, “If My Dad Were a Dog” has sold around 40,000 copies internationally, yet, another author resides in her head. I first came across “Come Shane” (by Victoria Coverdale) in the Apollo Bay bookstore; a tiny, green, attractive little thing, it spoke to me and took money from my debit card. The collection of short poems within “Come Shane” is inspired by the life of the greatest leg spinner of all time, Mr Shane Keith Warne. Victoria Coverdale weaves a masterful, more personal , imaginary narrative here; as if the poet is Warne’s guardian angel, or secret non-sexual confidante, or foster carer.
From “The Greatest Spin Bowler in History“
as long as you carefully
bowl your socks
and your warm and smelly
into the laundry bin
Annabel states that Victoria Coverdale is “kept in a padded cell” and that she first came into contact with Shane Warne when she was at her “most attractive” around 1993 when watching the spin-text king playing for Australia at the SCG against India. Talking more with Annabel Tellis about her journey through life and writing she reveals to me that her father provides unlimited material in her writing, and that he crops up again and again in her work. Growing up in England, in “a tiny village called Swepstone in Leicestershire, only 70 residents” her dad “was the doctor in Measham. He is still seen as a saint there!” She states that her relationship with her father was “complex” then relates a poignant scene in her life, as a gentle matter of fact, “there I was holding his hand, singing to him whilst he was passing away in Ballarat.” Having a doctor as a father in a small working class area meant that the phone was ringing a lot, presumably, at all times of the day and night, and Annabel has commemorated this by writing a blog entitled “Now that the phones have stopped ringing” which readers should follow up for a look see.
From “Come Shane“
And all the girls across the world
would want you in their home –
but Shane, it’s me that’s got you now
here’s the hammer, now where’s your phone?
On matters of life, Annabel tells me she has come close to dying a number of times; her husband rescued her from drowning in Vietnam, she has written off a car in a smash, and she has had a gun held to her in Bolivia (she recounts this with a hearty laugh). Annabel tells me that she has been writing since she can remember and that her husband was the initial driving encouragement behind the “Come Shane” collection (now entitled Shane Warne Poetry Book e-book). The mainstream press is harsh and ridiculing of Warne much of the time and we know this comes from being a celebrity, yet the work of Victoria Coverdale does not undermine the myth, the legend, that is Shane Warne, but alludes to idiosyncrasies, allowing others to take what they will from this portrayal. It certainly lends itself to being read aloud in company, and as an e-book offers extreme value for money at $2.20.
Annabel Tellis (AKA Victoria Coverdale) is the author of “Come Shane” and “The Shane Warne Poetry Book” – as well as her children’s book “If My Dad Were a Dog”, and her blog http://annabeltellis365.com/ (“Now that the phones have stopped ringing”). Annabel Tellis (or should I say Victoria Coverdale)will be reading from “The Shane Warne Poetry Book” at the Newstead Short Story Tattoo, May 1,2,3 check the website for ticket information and details www.newsteadtattoo.org