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Alison Lochel - Author

​Nicholas and Alison Lochel - Authors of the Zarkora series

​What year did you graduate?

I left school at Grade 10 in 2007.

What have you done since graduating?

Soon after graduating, I moved to Melbourne with Nick to continue writing the Zarkora series while he auditioned for roles. I’ve recently achieved a Certificate III in Childhood Education and Care, and I am currently halfway to earning my Diploma. Aside from that, I’ve had several jobs in retail, hospitality and in childcare. These jobs have always supported my career and passion for writing. Since graduating, I’ve co-written the first three books in the Zarkora series and we’re currently working on the final Zarkora book and the first book in our new series.

What do you do for a living now?

My fiancé and I recently bought a house so I’m currently working full-time as a Childcare Educator to pay off the mortgage. In my spare time, I’m working on the final Zarkora book with Nick and the first book in our new series.

Do you think your time at Holland Park State High School helped you to pursue this? If yes, how?

Definitely! I spent the majority of my breaks in the school library reading books with my friends. I would always borrow loads of books from the library, all of which fuelled my passion to become a writer. Deltora Quest and Harry Potter were definitely huge influences on me.

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?

I was already co-writing the Zarkora series in my final year of high school, so when I left in Grade 10, I was really able to throw myself into my writing career. To support myself financially, I got a casual job working at Crazy Clarks. Soon after that, I moved to Melbourne with Nick to continue working on the series. By the time we moved back to Brisbane, we had completed the first draft of Zarkora - The Fyrelit Tragedy.

Do you still live locally?

Yes, I love living in Brisbane. Both my family and my fiancé’s family live in Brisbane. Recently, we bought our first home here. But I also love travelling around Australia exhibiting Zarkora at conventions.

Did you enjoy your time at Holland Park?

I thoroughly enjoyed my Art and Drama classes. I also loved spending time with my friends at school and having a library full of books at my fingertips.

Do you still remember your favourite teacher?

I think Mr Mitchell was my favourite teacher. His classes were really fun!

What was your most memorable moment as a student?

I think mostly just hanging out with my friends, chatting in the sun or hanging out in the school library.

What was your funniest moment as a student?

The funniest moment for me was this one time in Drama class. We had to do a group clown show and dress up in really huge colourful clown outfits. It was good fun.

Are you still friends with anybody you met at Holland Park?

I’m still very close with my best friend Tara, who has stuck with me through all these years. I also hang out with my friends Brighde and Tahlia occasionally, and bump into Elly from time to time.


Do you feel that Holland Park has changed much since you graduated?

Like Nick mentioned, we haven’t really seen much of the school since graduating, but it sure does look great from the outside! Every time I drive past, it brings back fond memories
 
Anyone wanting to read the Zarkora series can purchase the books through Dymocks stores or online at www.zarkora.com.