Sunday, November 18th, 2012

76 year old Ray Bird, a retired teacher, lands a publishing deal for his debut novel with Sydney independent publisher BDA Books, and will be signing books on 8 December 2012 at Dymocks Tuggerah, Westfield Tuggerah, Shop 2038, 50 Wyong Road, Tuggerah

SYDNEY, NSW: “God he hated Sydney and damn publishing houses.” The opening line of first–time author Ray Bird’s debut novel, Why, Old Lady Why?, was enough to pique the interest of a Sydney publisher. The “old codger” (as he sometimes refers to himself), a 76 year old resident of the Central Coast of New South Wales, forwarded five chapters of his manuscript to BDA Books, a small independent publisher in Sydney and, within weeks, he was offered a contract.

Ray Bird has lived on the Central Coast since 1978 and was a District Inspector of Schools from 1978 to 1990. The setting of his novel is the Central Coast and readers will have no trouble in identifying connections. Toukley residents will find the fictional town’s principal thoroughfare, called Main Street, familiar. Readers from The Entrance will have no difficulty in recognising the estuary as the location of a tragic scene in the book––“the prawn run where the lake empties into the sea”.

Why, Old Lady, Why? was launched on 6 October 2012 on the Central Coast with Mr Bird’s family, friends and colleagues from the teaching profession in attendance. At the launch was Mr Bob Nicholls, one of Mr Bird’s colleagues from the teaching profession and also a former District Inspector of Schools, has reviewed Mr Bird’s novel. Mr Nicholls says of Mr Bird’s book:

“With great skill and ingenuity, Ray has brought together four principal characters... [t]heir stories, with those of many minor characters, involve physical confrontation, rejection, love, ethnic prejudices, murder and suspicion...[Ray] has melded this smorgasbord into a “can’t-put-it-down”, enjoyable novel.”

Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of, says of Mr Bird's novel:

“One of the challenges of even the most seasoned novelist is creating vivid and compelling characters. In the case of this novel, Bird needed to capture the idiosyncrasies and mindsets of small town folks without boring the reader. He has pulled this off with much aplomb, even at times entertaining his readers with a bit of humour. His characters are appealing not as a result of their weaknesses but their strengths, not their failures, but their triumphs. And when you think about it, the stories are really about living and dealing with a variety of universal problems and trying to figure out how to go about resolving these issues. In the end, Bird makes us really care about his characters whom we can easily identify with and remember.”

Mr Goldman's full review can be viewed on his website:

Mr Bird will be at Dymocks Tuggerah (at Westfield Tuggerah, Shop 2038, 50 Wyong Road, Tuggerah, phone 02 4353 0360) from 12:00pm to 2:00pm on Saturday, 8 December 2012 to sign his book.

The book is now available in hardcover and ebook formats:

Further details of the book can be found at:

About Ray Bird

Ray Bird, his father a railway fettler and his mother a nurse, grew up in small country villages in New South Wales. Ray accepted a scholarship to Newcastle Teachers College at age 16. He taught in country one–teacher schools and went on to become a Principal and a District Inspector of Schools. In 1990, he took up a position as an advocate for prisoners incarcerated in New South Wales goals. Ray is working on a second novel.


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BDA Books

BDA Books is a boutique publishing company established by author Belinda D'Alessandro in 2007 and located in Sydney’s inner west, independently publishes books in the general fiction, literary fiction, thrillers, crime fiction, current affairs and true crime genres.
Belinda D'Alessandro
P: 0422 98 4242


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