Shirley LaPlanche

journalist / photographer / author

About me

Shirley LaPlancheMy career as a journalist, photographer and author has been like my life … chock-full of successes and failures, but never dull. At school in New Zealand, I told a vocational guidance officer that I wanted to be writer and she looked at me as though I’d said I wanted to fly to the moon! Well, I did fly … all over the world, connecting with foreign places and people, taking part time jobs to finance the next leg of my journey – training horses in England, a movie extra in Tunisia, on a Kibbutz, barmaid in Canada – always keeping a diary to store away experiences and knowledge.

Once settled in Australia I started writing as a freelancer covering everything that quirked my interest from sailing to real estate investment. My first foray into mainstream media was as a stringer for The Bulletin magazine (sadly now no more). Then an Editor at The Australian newspaper in Sydney followed by a 3-year stint researching and writing for the Australian Tourist Commission (now Tourism Australia). This steady part-time work gave me a regular income while allowing me the freedom to travel again, writing and selling stories on travel, photography, skiing and golf.

Shirley LaPlanche Stepping Lightly on Australia

My passion for the outdoors led to my first book – Stepping Lightly on Australia, A Traveller’s guide to Ecotourism. It was published by HarperCollins in Australia and Globe Pequot Press in the US. It was a leader in the field of ecotourism and led to commissions to contribute stories to a Canadian book called Travel Unlimited – Uncommon Adventures and a book covering the South Pacific region called World Travel, A Guide to International Ecojourneys.

And now my first book of fiction – The Fatal Path – which is part The Dry with the relentless tension of The Girl on the Train and the cinematic drama of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.

I like giving talks about my experiences as a self-published author and the steps to writing a thriller – The Fatal Path – so if you would like me to talk to your group/club please contact me at

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