Welcome to the web site of JJ Sheahan


fancy dress 1964 - CopyI grew up in the Queensland bush, one of three wild and grubby boys. We were blessed: two parents, lots of space, not much money, footie and cricket, friends, school … not a land mine or war or famine in sight. My Nan introduced me to treasure hunting around old homesteads and collecting … stamps, stones, coins, old bottles and books, anything ancient or vintage or rusty – and more. She also excited a passion for fossicking about in the past, for getting to know my forebears through their stories, their photos and their knick-knacks.

At seventeen and boarding school, I accidentally discovered that writing was both a way in to the vast, subterranean maze of Life’s Meaning and a way to bring something back. So began the scribbling compulsion.

My beloved and I met at Teachers College in Sydney, then we moved to Wagga Wagga where the planned three-year stint turned into twenty-nine years, three awesome children, one five acre block and four itchy feet.

We moved down here to Tasmania and we love it.  It’s an amateur geologist’s dream-place and the piles of stones are steadily growing. I have finished a MAsters, left the classroom and now I have finished The Novel.

Now way past the mid-point of my life, I am grateful. I believe in wonder, mystery, beauty, love and people.

I understand that writing can be a terrible affliction, but the passion is its own joy.

I am drawn by almost primal desire to discover the meaning beneath the surface – of a person, a rock, a story.

Life continues rich and full.


How did I become ‘a writer’?