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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Launching boats and a book — with fun and flair

On Sunday 18 September Nature Coast Dragon Boat Club will hold demonstration boat races and launch a novel written by paddler member Kaaren Sutcliffe. Come and join the fun from 10 a.m. at the Moruya boat ramp on Shore Street.

Side-tracked by a career in the Australian Public Service, where she wrote long analytical reports, Kaaren didn’t write creatively until 1995, when she accidentally completed a novel while on maternity leave. Her works received attention from small independent publishers, and between 1998 and 2006 five novels and three children’s stories were published. The third book in her second fantasy series was runner-up in the fiction category of the ACT Publishing Awards in 2006. She also self-published a non-fiction book, which sold two print runs.

In 2005 Kaaren was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in 2006 her publisher closed down. Talk about timing! In a change of lifestyle, Kaaren hung up her creative keyboard and left the public service to become a freelance editor. She became an Accredited Editor with the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) in 2012. In 2021 Kaaren discovered her breast cancer had returned in her spine … However, every cloud has a silver lining and Kaaren used the extra time in her recovery from major surgery to return to her passion of writing — and The Mage and the Bird Caller trilogy came to life. The celebrations are to help welcome Kaaren back to paddling after major surgery and treatment, and to launch the novel that she completed while recovering. Undercover Mage is book one in a fantasy with romance trilogy, inspired by the Chinese mythology underpinning dragon boat racing. The story features a river, a grumpy river dragon, a spy mage on an undercover mission and a feisty heroine who is the captain of a boat team.

Guest paddlers are coming from other south coast clubs and there will be fun demonstration races from 10 a.m., followed by morning tea, the launch of the book, and then the opportunity to see the boats up close or even try a brief paddle.

Attendance is free and a coffee van and taco van will also be on site. Books will be available, with some of the proceeds from book sales going to Dragons Abreast Australia and The McGrath Foundation.

For more information about Nature Coast Dragon Boat Club visit:

For information about the author and the books visit:


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