About Terry (MacManus)

I am a self-published SFF (Science Fiction and Fantasy) author, freelance archaeologist, part-time opera-singing cartoonist and full-time dad to three (mostly) wonderful children. We live in Geelong, Australia with my best friend, soulmate, and wife (they’re… that’s—just to be clear, that’s all the same person).

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was old enough to know what desire meant. Sadly, like most writers who start their story with a statement like that, it took me far too long to start working towards that dream. I spent a decade in my Real Job™ before I finally bit the bullet (and seriously, Terry, who on earth thinks that Archaeology is going to be a better career choice than writing?!)

It wasn’t until the arrival of our second child that I realised just how quickly time was passing by. It wouldn’t be long before they were looking to me as a role model for their own lives. Was this what I wanted to teach them, leading by example? That dreams were fine, but you should be happy settling for second best?

How could I look them in the eye and tell them, yes, I believed they should follow their own dreams and grow up to be whatever they wanted to be?

I closed out my open archaeology projects, and resigned.

The years since then have been a whirlwind of study, raising the kids and finding my first jobs as a working writer. In 2017, I began writing for the Digital Strips podcast (the first, longest-running and—in my humble opinion—best webcomics review podcast in the world). Not only did this let me set foot in the writing world, it let me express my utter adoration for all things webcomic on a weekly basis. And as a lapsed webcartoonist myself, that love is indeed long and enduring.

The same year, I also enrolled in a Master’s of Writing and Literature through Deakin University. Through 2017 and 2018 I delved deep into all things fantasy and science fiction, as well as poetry, screenwriting, and—surprisingly—archaeology. For my thesis, I looked at how archaeological principles can be used to break down and analyse the structure of imaginary worlds—much like I had investigated the history and formation of archaeological sites in the real world for so many years. As a proof-of-concept, I also produced a 13,000-word work of original fantasy fiction which applied the key principles I’ve identified for layering the contexts of imaginary worlds.

Graduating in 2019, I launched Terry Talks Fiction to act as the hub where I can both share my writing with the world, and also share the analytical framework I’ve devised for applying archaeological principles to fiction. This approach can be found permeating the reviews I post to the site and more specifically addressed in the author reflections I provide to subscribers with each new story posted.

At last, thanks to the amazing support of readers like you, I’m doing what I was meant to do. I hope you enjoy reading and listening to the content posted here, and I look forward to talking again soon!