Author(s): Barrie McMahon
Short of a good murder, sin, sensation and sex in salacious detail were always standard fare for Perth’s Mirror newspaper. With the departure of American troops in 1946, new sources of scandal were needed.
Straight from school Alf McGuinness lands a job with The Mirror as a copyboy and immediately finds himself in a fix. He and his rebellious friend Jenny Anderson are small players in the thriving post-war black market but The Mirror reporters are digging for sensation in the contraband economy.
The more Alf and Jenny try to reconcile their conflicting pursuits the deeper their predicament becomes. Their lives threaten to unravel.
Barrie McMahon loves a good story particularly one that reflects his lifelong interest in Australian history, communication and folklore. It is a fascination with how people’s lifestyles reflect and reshape their cultures.
The same focus on culture and communication is evident in his work as a professional educator. As co-author with Robyn Quin he has written many media text books for teachers and students and with Jan McMahon captured the folklore of the Darwin racing culture in Fannie Bay to Flemington: Living Bush Legends (Vivid Publishing 2011).
His novel Copyboy satisfies his passion for spinning a good yarn while at the same time examines how the immediate post World War II Perth community interacted with the dominant medium of the time, the newspaper, to engage with and reshape the traditional Australian ethos.
Barrie is an old bloke, old enough to have faint childhood memories of that era. He has lived in Perth, Western Australia most of his life. He and Jan have two married sons, four grandchildren and through long term friendships are part of various extended families whose cultures they celebrate.