Morris Gleitzman is a famed author from Australia and was born on the 9th of January 1953. He is married to Mary Anne Fahey, who is also a famous Australian writer, as well as actor and comedian. They have 2 children, Ben and Sophie, and 2 stepchildren, Jamie and Tom.
In 1985, Gleitzman wrote the first book entitled “The Other Facts of Life” and got critically acclaimed for his controversial novels, including “Two Weeks with the Queen” (it talks about AIDS), which he published in 1990. Aside from these, there are many other children’s books and young adult fiction that he had written. If you want to delve a little more into the creative mind of Morris Gleitzman, here are more interesting facts about him.
1. His Career Started With Writing TV Comic Strips.
In 1969, Gleitzman attended the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now known as the University of Canberra) to do a writing course called Professional Writing. However, his career began with writing comic strips for television, working on such concepts for 10 years until he finally wrote a different kind of script about a boy named Ben who looks at the world in a different way to his family and friends. While the film was being produced, he was approached by a publisher and asked if he could convert the script into a book, where he agreed, thus creating his first book, “The Other Facts of Life”.
2. He Had Some Interesting Jobs Before Becoming a Writer.
Before he became a writer he had a good career as a bottle-shop shelf-stacker, paperboy, department store personnel, frozen chicken defroster, sugar-mill employee and even a fashion-design trainee.
3. His Migration To Australia Somehow Led To His Enlightenment About Writing.
In the first place, he loved reading, flipping the pages of every book he got his hands on, from classics to recipes. Then in 1969, his family migrated to Australia, which he regarded as a huge change in his life, with the heat, flies and the entirely different tinned meats. In fact, this event caused him to stop reading books for almost a year. But when he started reading again, he found himself wanting to write as well. His love for food led him to do a course called Professional Writing, and when he graduated, he already knew how to write almost anything from journalism to jokes on the back of the packaging of some products. However, he still did not find the aptitude to write his own stories, which only came many years later where he finally published his first book. Though the idea of writing an actual book did scare him during that time, he cared too much about the character, Ben, so he just gave it a go—a decision he surely did not regret making later on!
4. Being a Scriptwriter For “The Norman Gunston Show” Was a Significant Stepping Stone In His Career.
Gleitzman saw that humorous writing for magazines and newspapers, as well as freelance journalism, were not paid well, so he began writing comedy scripts for TV, particularly for “The Norman Gunston Show”. As previously mentioned, his work for the show gave him the opportunity to turn one of his telemovies into a book. He eventually saw this as a rare privilege, where someone was already offering to publish his book even before he has written it. As for many authors, they have to go through a highly determined process of writing books uninvited, even sent off and rejected.
5. His Successful Book “Two Weeks With The Queen” Was Adapted Into a Play, Which Turn Out To Be a Success Itself.
After “The Other Facts of Life”, he wrote 27 more books, including “Two Weeks with the Queen” that was hugely successful and then adapted into a play by Mary Morris. As for the play itself, it saw several successful seasons in Australia and was eventually performed at London’s National Theatre in 1995. It was also performed in Canada, South Africa, Japan and the US.
6. His Books Were Critically Acclaimed Around The World.
Gleitzman’s books have been published in many countries, including the UK, the US, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, China, Indonesia, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Holland, Iceland, Finland, Czechoslovakia and Russia. Most of these books, including “The Other facts of Life”, “Misery Guts”, “Blabber Mouth”, “Wicked”, “Deadly” and “Aristotle’s Nostril”, were even either short-listed for or honored with numerous awards.
7. Gleitzman, Himself, Has Received a Decent Number Of Honors And Awards.
As an author, Gleitzman has won numerous awards, but his favorite among them are those voted by readers, such as the Koala Award in New South Wales, Yabba Award in Victoria and all the other state-given awards. One of the greatest awards that were given to him was the Dymocks Children’s Choice Award.
8. Care To Know Where His Ideas Come From?
Admittedly, Gleitzman said that it was always difficult for him to think of a specific time when he was not habitually making up stories in his head. Sharing his thoughts about this on an interview, he stated, “Ideas pop into my head right through my waking hours and also in my dreams. I was at the movies watching Terminator 2 when I had an idea for a story about a mute girl who has a wonderful relationship with her Country-and-Western-singing, apple-farming dad. However, he does very embarrassing things and she has to find non-verbal ways of telling him to pull his head in. I don’t think Terminator 2 has anything to do with that, not on the surface anyway, but for some reason while I was watching it, I had an idea for the book that became Blabber Mouth.”
Finally, let us wrap things up with a fun fact about how Morris Gleitzman accounts himself. As you can see, he describes himself as “a middle-aged bloke with not much hair and quite a lot of tummy who tries to explore every aspect of being human using only a notebook, a computer, his imagination and lots of nouns, verbs, prepositions, pronouns and articles.” The life of this writer who is gifted with a creative mind is indeed interesting, isn’t it?