Arbeat Publishers

Mark Greenwood is a history hunter. He enjoys searching for lost explorers and glittering treasure, solving famous cold cases and delving into baffling history mysteries.

Mark’s new picture book The Happiness Box, is an inspirational story about the importance of friendship, compassion and courage. Beautifully illustrated by Andrew McLean, The Happiness Box is the story of a book that was created by Australian prisoners of war for children interned in Changi Prison, Singapore. The original book, written to chase away fear and inspire hope, and said to contain the secrets to happiness, is now a National Treasure. 

“I’m interested in blending history and story to create books with resonance - and that is what is lurking beneath the surface of The Happiness Box. It’s what makes the book meaningful and important. At its core, it is a story about the power of reading and how books might very well be one of the secrets to our happiness.”

Mark will be touring nationally and internationally during 2019, speaking about The Happiness Box and his other award-winning books.

As a musician, Mark spent many years touring, recording and performing with the world's foremost musicians. Now he enjoys working with students of all ages, inspiring and developing their natural curiosity about books, writing and rhythm.

“My task as a writer is to fossick stories that ‘sparkle’ and make us want to read, hear and understand.

The ‘spark’ to write may be something as simple as a dog-eared photo with a question that teases the imagination or an artifact that generates interest and discussion - a nugget of gold, a relic of war, a shipwreck coin. 

Research has led me to the island of angry ghosts on a search for shipwreck treasure and to the hallowed beach at Gallipoli. In Central Australia I sat in the cave where, suffering from thirst and starvation, Lasseter wrote his last farewell in a crumbled diary. These journeys of discovery help me balance creative interpretation with historical authenticity. Being in the setting I’m writing about, where the historical events actually occurred, is one of the crucial stages in bringing history to life.

The ultimate purpose of research is to become steeped in a period so that in my dreams and imaginings I can walk undetected in the past. If I’m lucky I can get close enough to read the expression in my character’s eyes or hear the tone of their voice.”

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