Why I Write

Author Biography: Jonathan Benton

Jonathan Benton left Auckland University before completing a BA in English Literature and History because of a burning desire to see the world. A qualified PADI Divemaster, he spent a year working in Fiji. He moved to England, where he rambled the countryside for several years chasing myths and legends. Before returning to New Zealand, he stopped off in Australia; ten years later, he is still here.

Settling in Sydney, Jonathan joined the NSW Writers’ Centre and completed several courses in pursuit of his childhood dream: to write stories for publication. He also played doubles with the then-Director of the Centre, combining his love of literature with his enthusiasm for tennis.

After many good conversations and a few good shots, he followed his heart to Brisbane to be with his partner. Jonathan likes adventure. He has driven from Sydney to the tip of Cape York with a homemade plywood boat, which his friends then sailed across the Torres Strait. He has sailed from Sydney to Forster/Tuncurry and back, and has spent time in the Northern Territory researching factual details for a forthcoming novel.

The youngest of three siblings, Jonathan likes arts and entertainment, sports and leisure, and all the other categories on the Trivial Pursuit board.


Books That Changed Me - The Sydney Morning Herald

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6 Things About Jonathan

Jonathan’s initial attempt at fiction won him First Place in a short story competition. He was ten years old and it earned him a pat on the back.

Jonathan wants to depart Earth knowing that he and his generation left the planet in a better state than it was when they arrived – there’s still time!

If Jonathan reads the last lines of A Tale of Two Cities, he will cry. If Jonathan thinks about reading the last lines of A Tale of Two Cities, he will cry. If Gary Oldman recites the last lines of A Tale of Two Cities at the end of a Batman movie, Jonathan will, of course, cry.

Jonathan’s ‘favourites’ list: Roger Federer, Darth Vader, Everton FC, black Doc Marten ten-up boots, Tolkien’s works, Stephen King’s works (Jonathan’s all-time favourite King novel is It), Charles Dickens’s works, Catch-22, The Hunger Games, J. K. Rowling, Pink Floyd and Beethoven.

Jonathan has a metal plate in his head, the result of a motor-vehicle accident when he was sixteen. A drunk driver fell asleep and crashed into the car in which Jonathan was a passenger. A beautiful young woman died in the same accident.

Jonathan was politely asked to leave high school: he loved books and the knowledge that they brought to his life, but he lacked the discipline to sit and listen in class. He thought himself a rebel; he was more likely a nuisance. But it’s never too late to learn: Jonathan enrolled in an on-campus course and, two years after he’d left school, gained university entrance.