Author Archives: Richard Leonard

About Richard Leonard

A writer of fiction, software, magazine articles, websites, blogs, tweets and sadly, cheques.

Meet My Character

G’day! This week Goran Zidar was kind enough to give me this opportunity to introduce you all to one of my favourite characters. Thank you Goran. Before I launch into my character’s bio, here’s a little more info about Goran and his work.

Goran Zidar

Goran Zidar

Goran lives in Melbourne, Australia. He shares a home with his wife, twin daughters, and a cat. A degree in History and Archaeology from Monash University fuels his love of all things old, and his work as a software developer keeps him in touch with the new.

He can be found on WordPress, and Twitter: @GZidar.

He has published at least three books on Amazon which can be found here.

TK Thirteen:
Bonds of Honour:

Meet My Character…

Okay, the lucky character for this Meet My Character exercise is from one of the first large writing projects I ever attempted. I chose this character because I think she is one of, if not the most developed of all of my characters. I guess this is because she has been curling around in my imagination for so long.

After browsing a few other Meet My Character posts I thought I’d mix this one up a little and let her do most of the talking. So without further ado,

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

RL: Her name is Alexandra O’Tool.

AO’T: Sandy.

R: Your proper name is Alexandra.

A: Oh Rick, you know I’d rather be called Sandy. Or Alex.

R: I know. Sandy, it is then. And she’s fictional.

S: I’m as real as you and everyone else, thank you very much.

R: <Whispering> Fictional — Ow!

When and where is the story set?

R: The story is set where Sandy grew up in a small country town called Omeo, on the Great Dividing Range in Eastern Victoria, Australia, and in parts of the Middle East. With a few stop overs including Melbourne and Singapore.

S: I wish it was all set in Omeo. Or Melbourne. Only 2004 might have been different if that were the case. 1995 was pretty damn special but ’91 will stay with me forever for all the wrong reasons.

R: Shh. Don’t give away too much of the plot.

What should we know about her?

R: Sandy is from Irish and Indigenous Australian descent —

S: I’m a proud aboriginal woman.

R: Yes. Her maternal grandmother was the last full blooded aboriginal woman in her family. Her father, a descendant of an Irish convict, is the local post office manager. Sandy has an older sister called Clare. I know what you’re thinking, Sandy. Not a word.

S: Can I say a few things?

R: Go for it. But don’t diss your sister.

S: Fine. I grew up in Omeo in eastern Victoria with my parents, Grandmother and, yes, one sibling. My grandmother was my world. She taught me nearly everything I know about my people and our origins, the Dreamtime and the Dreaming. I was a happy little girl but a tragic event turned me into a sad and bitter teenager. Then I discovered Wicca and a few years later I met my best friend, Rani. She was a Muslim girl visiting on an exchange program from Singapore, and very quickly she became my world.

What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

R: Should I leave this to you, Sandy?

S: I watched her die. I should have protected her. I never saw it coming the way it did. Never in a million years. You have no idea how much regret I’ve carried with me since that day. All I had to do was register what I saw and act on it. No. Someone else killed her but I was responsible. The other time someone close to me died there was no-one to blame. I found the body but it was too late. It was deemed a simple accident. At least we had closure. Not with Rani. Everything was wide open for so long.

R: Sounds like the conflict is mainly internal.

S: It was until I caught up with her murderer. I thought I had every thing under control. Thought I was on track to achieving my goal. Boy, was I wrong.

What is the personal goal of the character?

S: I vowed to dedicate my life to finding the screwed up animal that took her life, find out why, and to bring her back.

R: Umm… bring Rani back? Most people would just settle for revenge.

S: Revenge is easy and people are lazy. Revenge won’t bring her back.

R: Isn’t that a little obsessive and irrational?

S: No. I let her down. She lost her life because of me. I must repay that debt. The least I can do is bring her back. Don’t give me that doubtful sideways glance, Richard. Of course, it’s possible. Turns out it was more complicated than I thought it would be. And my family thought I was dead when I disappeared. I had to fix that, too.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

S: I think it should be called “Rani’s Right”. I mean, it’s not about me. It’s about Rani and what was taken from her, not just her life but everything. Her love, her wisdom, her sharpness and her softness. It’s about the effect she had on everyone she met. The loss of Rani in many people’s lives created so many holes that can never be refilled.

R: There’s a little more about the book by that title on my blog under the Works menu up near the top.

When can we expect the book to be published?

S: Yes, Richard. When can we expect the book to be published?

R: I really wish I had more time to work on it but sadly I have to plod along slowly. In fact it’s been on the back burner while I work on another novel. Admittedly this one is my favourite and I want to get it right. But encouragement always breeds motivation. ;)

S: And you’re still tossing up whether or not to make it a trilogy, aren’t you, Rick?

R: You can read me like a book, young lady!

Next Stop on the Meet My Character Blog Tour…

The next people I’ve nominated on the Meet My Character Blog Tour are Jennifer M Eaton and Eric J Baker. Perfect author names if ever there were!

Jennifer M Eaton

Jennifer M Eaton

Jennifer is the author of several books and is madly writing sequels to her soon-to-be-released Fire In The Woods novel.

Eric J Baker

Eric J Baker

Eric is a multi-talented writer/editor/muso with “various publications, columns, and stories scattered across the web” and a novel in the pipeline.

Click their pics to teleport yourself to their blogs.

Once again, thanks Goran and I hope you check out the other fantastic authors in the Meet My Character Blog Tour.

Have a great week!



Craig’s Cross-Dress Dare

My old mate Craig made a ludicrous statement at the beginning of the AFL season. He said “If the Hawks lose more than 2-3 games this year I’ll cross dress and walk down Bourke street – seriously we might just be that good”

Last weekend the Hawks lost their fourth game of 2014. True to his word he got into the gear on Thursday at lunch time, and here he is in Bourke Street, Melbourne.

This is Craig. He lost a bet.

This is Craig. He lost a bet.

He’s aiming to raise $1,000 for the EJ Whitten Foundation for Prostate Cancer research. If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, or just to pay kudos to Craig for the effort, click the picture to go to the donations page at Don’t feel guilty if you don’t.

Well done Craig. Good Effort!



How to Block Tumblr at Your Router

Ever tried the simplest way to block a website your kids either shouldn’t be seeing at all, or need to spend less time on, and found that it only works for a short time? This method involves finding the site’s IP address using ping or tracert, and add it to your blocked list in the firewall of your router. Easy. And it does work – for a few minutes.

I tried this with Tumblr (because someone in our household is getting less homework done because of it – nothing against Tumblr) and found exactly that.

For the short answer, feel free to skip to the Final Answer. If you’re curious about how to work it out yourself, please read on. Continue reading

Ebook Fraud Alert: Spread the Word

Richard Leonard:

This is concerning…

Originally posted on Kait Nolan:

So we can all agree that book piracy sucks.  Know what sucks even more?  People trying to illegally SELL our work.  Courtesy of Google Alerts, I found out about 45 minutes ago that Red and Forsaken By Shadow are both illegally listed at  So are my friend Susan Bischoff’s books and a whole lot of others.  It’s not limited to just self published books either.  I’ve seen books by Carina Press, Penguin and other publishers on this site.

The site is hosted through GoDaddy, so it is important that you, as author, check to see if your books are listed, and then follow the directions below to file a complaint in order to see that the domain is suspended and have GoDaddy cancel this asswipe’s hosting.


B. Copyright Claims (from GoDaddy’s Legal Dept.)

1. If the Complaining Party would like to submit a copyright claim…

View original 543 more words

I Work in the IT Industry and Just Bought My First Smartphone

The web has moved forward and my old Nokia E71 wasn’t cutting the mustard any more so it was time. Or maybe websites were deliberately not loading for me if they saw that old dinosaur requesting a page. After much observing of what friends were using I decided to get a Google Nexus 5. And partly because I could buy two for less than the price of one Samsung Galaxy S5. Continue reading

Bike Vs 4WD

“Hello. Victorian Emergency Services. What is your emergency?”
“Hi. I’d like to report an accident. Four wheel drive versus cyclist. There’s a male, mid 30’s, unconscious on the road. He has injuries resulting from the collision.”
“I’m sure he does. We’ll have an ambulance and the police out shortly.” Continue reading

Book Review: Gods of Atlantis, by David Gibbins

Gods of Atlantis, written by David Gibbins is described on the cover as a cross between Indiana Jones and Dan Brown. Ignoring the fact that at face value, one is a conservative and studious looking author and the other a radical fictional archaeologist, the book doesn’t quite live up to that expectation for me. It begins with a prologue describing an interpretation of the Epic of Gilgamesh whereby a character, strongly hinted at being the Noah of Biblical Flood fame, and Gilgamesh himself travel across the Mediterranean to escape a major flooding of their civilisation. They continue beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Straight of Gibraltar) south and west across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean where Gilgamesh turns back and becomes a God in his homeland. Noah remains to live out his days with only a memory taken back with Gilgamesh. Continue reading

Guest Post: Nikolas Baron – Research with a Shovel, Not a Spoon

Today I welcome guest blogger, Nikolas Baron to the Ramblings. Nikolas works for the marketing department of Grammarly, an online grammar checker. Nikolas loves the written word as much as the rest of us and has kindly contributed this piece on the appropriate tools and level of aggression required for research when writing. Take it away, Nikolas! Continue reading

The Catholic Church Still Hasn’t Learned From Galileo

Warning: I haven’t researched this. It’s based on what I happened to hear from the news on TV as I pass within earshot of it. I haven’t got time for this rubbish.

Apparently today two popes were canonised. Made into saints, as I understand it. Pope John Paul II was one of them. Apparently he was sainted because some woman who was terminally ill prayed to him and suddenly was no longer on deaths doorstep. According to the church, doctors (allegedly) could see no reason for her illness to just disappear. The conclusion: Pope JP2 must have fixed her. Laziest investigation ever. Continue reading

I’m Now a Google+ Newbie!

Hooray. Better late than never, hey?

I just set up my profile and I’ve added a few blogger friends to my circles while I’m still getting with the lingo. Still flailing around in the dark a bit so if I do something stalker-ish or anti-social, please let me know.

The URL seems a bit user-unfriendly. Surely there’s a better way to say “here’s where I am n G+”.

Anyway, give me a couple of months and hopefully I’ll have learnt a bit more about this gadget.