About Me

Briefly Graeme Simsion is:
A writer of screenplays, short stories, novels and a couple of short plays
An occasional producer of films – primarily those for which I was screenwriter
Formerly an IT specialist (data modeling) and founder of a business and IT consultancy
Helped establish two other businesses: Roy’s Antiques and Pinot Now
Husband of Professor Anne Buist, psychiatrist and novelist, and father of two.
Resident of Fitzroy (Melbourne) Australia

Wikipedia profile here

A fragmented cv… Beyond the Duck

If you’ve found yourself here because you’re writing an article about one of my books, or perhaps something else I’ve done, and would like to know a bit more about me, then thank you. If you’re just curious, thanks for your interest!

Yes, it’s true that I once gave a conference presentation dressed as a duck. And for good reason, really (I wanted to attract people to a dry topic). But it was a long time ago. And it’s become the most commonly cited “interesting fact” about me.

So, in the hope that I may eventually be remembered for something other than the duck story, here are a few other things I’ve done…

Wrote, produced and acted in a feature film – Voluntary Act –  and packed the Kino Theatre for its first and only showing. It was deservedly buried after that, but was the spark that got me interested in a writing career.

Asked Peter Sarstedt to record a special version of Where do you go to My Lovely for my partner, replacing the bit about being in between twenty and thirty… (Which he graciously did – thank you) [This is the ‘romantic’ credential)

Led a packed hall of chartered accountants in community singing – with feeling. (The duck story had set expectations).

Walked the Chemin de St Jacques / Camino de Santiago / Way of St James 2,000 km from Tramayes, France to Santiago de Compostela with my wife, taking the Northern route and the Camino Primitivo. Life changing. Did it again in  2016 taking Camino Frances in Spain this time. Inspired our novel TWO STEPS FORWARD.

Drunk 99 year old champagne from the wreck of the Jonkoping. (Celebrating my friend Roy the Antique Dealer’s 50th). I like wine quite a lot and helped start a small wine business with a friend, but that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Edited three novels and three novellas of erotic female fiction including MFM paranormal. (They were written by my wife, writing under the name Simone Sinna, and published by Siren Bookstrand)

Driven a 1962 Kombi around Australia. A long time ago. But I’ve travelled quite a bit, a lot of it doing seminars on consulting skills and data modeling. It’s nice on book tours (especially the tough ones in the USA) to be able to catch up with old friends from that previous life.

Failed my Feature Film subject (the first time) at RMIT.  “DNS: Did not submit.”  The reference is to the project, not my attitude, but…

Did a PhD after I sold my business – feel free to address me as Doctor. Or not. Still less qualified than partner WHO IS A CHRONIC OVERACHIEVER.

Built a consulting business – Simsion Bowles & Associates – to some 70 staff in three cities – sold in 1999. A big chunk of my life – my ‘day job’ before I began writing. Ultimately successful but a lot of bumps along the way.

Career highlight: facilitating at the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s (much maligned and satirised) Australia 2020 Summit. I’m ultimately an optimist.

Played harmonica with a band, publicly. Once or twice. (Thanks serious musicians including Data Modelling co-author Graham Witt, for seeing me through).

Wrote and produced Charles (“Bud”) Tingwell’s last film – a short titled The Last Bottle with Genevieve Picot that has appeared on ABC TV.

Ran Canberra marathon at an age when I should have known better, with almost fatal results. Wrote a short story about it. You can read it here.

Got my amateur radio licence at 15, in keeping with the type of kid I was at the time. (Not entirely dissimilar to the young Don Tillman but without the martial arts)

Born in New Zealand. Father British. Naturalised Australian. Accent is occasionally spotted.

Written one of the most popular books (possibly the most popular) on data modelling. Data Modeling Essentials, 3rd Edition with Graham Witt – Morgan Kaufmann.

Written one of the least popular books (but deep and rigorous) on data modelling. Thanks to Technics (Steve Hoberman) for publishing.

Held an o-1 Visa for USA – Alien of Extraordinary Abilities. As held by Don Tillman. Not as an author – a data modeller.

Nerd fact: My (Kevin) Bacon number is 4 – Self – Dominique Simsion (Voluntary Act) – Beth Child (Push Up) – Meryl Streep (Evil Angels) – Kevin Bacon (The River Wild)
My Erdos number is 4: Self – Daniel Moody – Amotz Bar-noy – Nathan Linial – Paul Erdos …. (What I need is a bit part in The Rosie Project or The Best of Adam Sharp).
… which gives me the (rare) Erdos-Bacon number of 8. Colin Firth and Natalie Portman have 6s. Partner also 8. Of course.













6 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hello,

    Like the others who have posted, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading both The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. The latter of which I finished not 30 minutes ago.

    While I was reading The Rosie Effect I couldn’t help but occasionally view the book from a different perspective than I meant to — analytically as opposed to just for entertainment. You see, I am in the middle of writing a novel I started nearly a decade ago and have only recently got back to. My problem (at least one of them) was adding depth to the characters while still keeping my story entertaining and engrossing. You have done that brilliantly and I appreciate the natural way the characters unfolded. I know it mustn’t have been as easy as it looked.

    So all this rambling is just a lead in to express my gratitude to you for you writing these books and helping me overcome some writer’s block. Oh, and to also thank you for being older and onto (at least) your second career when you began writing fiction – the situation I find myself in.

    I look forward to reading your next novel about Adam Sharp!

  2. Hi Graeme
    Just wanted to give you feedback from our book group which read Rosie’s Project and reviewed it last night. By way of background we are an all male group of 15 members, aged 50 to 60 years, that meet 1 month at a members home. We are predominantly based in the inner North Yarra region. The group has been going for 10 years and your book has achieved the highest rating by the group in that period. That in itself is pretty interesting, but what really surprised us is that the genre (rom/com) is something that we normally shun. The character Don Tillman won us all over. Some of us speculated that we may have a touch of aspergers in our DNA. Below are some of the quotes I recorded from the meeting.

    Stuart – “Gene was socially adept but morally inept, Don was socially inept but morally adept”
    Don – “the main character was an insensitive, pedantic, anal retentive bike rider named Don, how could I not like him?”
    Richard – “I think many clubs, such as Morris Dancing or Book clubs are knitted together by people who have a slight aspergers nature”
    John K – “ Rosie for me was Ruby Rose”
    John C – “I love Don, I want to be his friend”
    Kevin – “I intend to read it again, that is my ultimate compliment for any book”
    Geoff – “if I lived alone I would employ Don’s standardized meal plan”
    Andres – “Don Tillman is Andres Kabel and Andres Kabel is Don Tillman

    Finally congratulations on a great book and thank you.

    • Hi Graeme, I have a sister with autism and because of the life I lived with her I understand everything Don says and does according to how he thinks. It was so great and fun t read! Although there are some differences between autistic people (My sister is not socially inept. On the contrary, but she has the same nervous break downs because of the emotions, that come with these social skills, she doesn’t have or doesn’t understand and leads to total breakouts) She also has a very low IQ which diminish her options to relativize and is unable to structurize and reason like Don does because of his intellegence and narrows it all down in certain routines. But the fact is that Reading about Don Tillman in the way you described his story is so recognizable that I was wondering; how did you obtain all this adequate knowlegde about people with this autistic spectrum? Without life experience in this area (that is without an autistic relative) I find that really impressive. Thanks for putting it out there and showing how few knowlegde about these interesting people made become so much.

    • Dear Lina
      Thanks for writing. I’m always pleased to have feedback from the autism / Asperger’s community. I was very concerned that the books would be a positive contribution to attitudes, but was equally concerned not to perpetuate stereotypes: all people with Asperger’s are not Don Tillman! My inspiration was people I’d met during studies in science and a career in information technology – and just being in the world. I hadn’t really met a lot of people like your sister with the lower IQ – but that’s happened since as the books have brought me into contact with the broader autism community. I’m thinking some of what I’ve learned since, from that contact and feedback from people like you, will go into my third book!
      Best wishes

  3. Pingback: The Rosie Project | Melissa's Online Book Club

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