Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer is the pen name used by Australian poet, author and researcher, Cecelia Hopkins. Cecelia was born in 1967 in Adelaide, South Australia. She grew up in the Barossa Valley, an area of South Australia predominantly settled by German immigrants. As a dark-haired, tanned little English girl (remember Britain was at one stage occupied by the Romans), she was very different and mercilessly teased.
Cecelia remembers the struggle to learn to read at primary school and this motivates her work in remedial literacy. Reading was a slow process until one birthday; she sat down with her gift, a Famous Five book by Enid Blyton. The mystery story was so exciting, Cecelia finished it in one session and she was a fast reader from that moment onwards. Cecelia continued to read, discovering The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. In search of more riveting reading, she discovered Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christy and Stephen King.
Along with the love of reading, Cecelia quickly developed a love of writing. Even before she went to school, she remembers scribbling for hours on a piece of paper in imitation of her mother’s messy cursive. Early stories were about a magic car that could fly and dive! Cecelia also loved poetry and pumped out many juvenile ditties.
Cecelia moved to NSW to study, completing a Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Information Management and Master of Arts. Cecelia’s thesis entitled: THE LITERARY MANIFESTO OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: A WRITER IN SEARCH OF A THEORY (1993-1994) was completed as a research project which replaced several subjects in her Master of Arts through the University of New South Wales.
The last chapter of her M.A. was extracted and published as “Symbolism of Style in `The Strange High House in the Mist'", Lovecraft Studies 31, edited by S.T. Joshi, pp.11-15. (Published under her married name of Cecelia Drewer). This was followed by a number of poems in the science fiction fanzine The Mentor, edited by Ron Clark; and book reviews in Australian Library Review published by Charles Sturt University.
Cecelia wrote her first full length novel, a sword and sorcery fantasy (yet to be published) in 1988, she wrote her next full-length novel Silver Springtime in the year 2000. In 2004 Cecelia also wrote All for Love, a book in which she envisioned an Australian dating show similar to the American Bachelor. The manuscript was written before there was an Australian Bachelor, unfortunately television production overtook publication and beat the manuscript into the public arena!
Like many authors, Cecelia struggled to find a publishing niche because her work crossed many genres. (She loved realism, fantasy, thrillers and literature.) Also having a Christian background conflicted with the fact that she loved a good story and did not hesitate to include the dark side of life. Bad things do happen to good people, no matter what race they are born into or creed they espouse. Cecelia was able to disperse with some of these conflicts when Print On Demand technology made self-publishing viable. An independent author could now have complete control of their own work without the expense of ordering several thousand copies up-front.
Self-editing is a massive task, and Cecelia apologizes for any occasional typing errors that do get past the censor, however, she could never bear the thought of her painstakingly selected words being torn apart by someone less educated than herself! (Cecelia has collected a number of degrees and certifications over the years due to her unquenchable academic curiosity). She is also stubborn about using British spelling, except in the novels she considers her “Americana”, where she deliberately uses US spelling.
Books by Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer
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