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Nicholas Lochel - Author

​Nicholas and Alison Lochel - Authors of the Zarkora series

​Since graduating in 2001, Nicholas Lochel and his sister, Alison, have written a popular children's book series - Zarkora. We caught up with Nicholas to see what else he has been up to since leaving Holland Park and some memorable moments about the school.

What year did you graduate?
I graduated Grade 12 in 2002.

What have you done since graduating?
A lot has happened over the past 14 years. I have lived in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and travelled the US and UK. I have attained an Advanced Diploma in Stage and Screen Acting and performed in the theatre and on television, including the Short and Sweet Play Festival and on Neighbours. I have co-written 3 bestselling novels with my sister, Alison, which were acquired by Hachette Australia. We also founded our own publishing company, Thornberry Press. My life has really been an adventure since graduating high school.
What do you do for a living now?
I am writing and illustrating full-time and running the business side of Thornberry Press. My sister and I are currently working on the final Zarkora book, the first book in our new illustrated junior fiction series, and the screenplay adaptation of Zarkora – The Fyrelit Tragedy.
Do you think your time at Holland Park State High School helped you to pursue this? If yes, how?
Yes, it did. My Advanced English, Art and Drama classes all helped me to pursue a career as an actor, author and illustrator. And as much as I disliked Maths, the subject has certainly helped me to run the business side of being author and publisher.
What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I finished off my second year at the Performing Arts Conservatory, got a job working at McDonalds, before moving down to Sydney to pursue my acting career. I also came up with the main characters of the Zarkora series and the basic premise for the story.
Do you still live locally?
Yes, I’m currently based in Brisbane. I’m also very lucky to travel all over Australia for work.
Did you enjoy your time at Holland Park?
I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, especially in the creative subjects. I was never a huge fan of maths but now that I’m running a publishing business – doing invoices for bookstores and library suppliers – the lessons I learned have certainly come inhandy. Most of all, I loved hanging out with my friends and doing anything creative. For the most part, I really enjoyed my time at Holland Park High.
Do you still remember your favourite teacher?
Ms. Tremeer (Advanced English)(now Deputy Principal) and Mr Mitchell (Drama) were my favourite teachers.
What was your most memorable moment as a student?
It’s not a single moment, but the thing I remember most about school was running to Holland Park High every morning to play basketball with my mates. We used to play before school started, on both breaks and even after school.
What was your funniest moment as a student?
My funniest moment would have to be the time I did a Drama presentation based on a Chris Farley skit from Saturday Night Live. It was supposed to be a formal presentation on teenage issues, but I approached it a little differently. The fact that I gave the presentation a humorous element caught everyone off guard and the whole class was in stitches. It was pretty funny.
Are you still friends with anybody you met at Holland Park?
I’m still really good friends with my mate Tim, who I’ve actually been friends with since pre-school. I also see loads of my friends from high school around the place. It’s always good to see them and catch up on what they’ve been up to.
In the future, would you send your children to Holland Park?
If I’m still living in Brisbane when I have kids, I would definitely send them to Holland Park High.
Do you feel that Holland Park has changed much since you graduated?
It’s hard to tell. I’ve only dropped in a couple of times since graduating. But I’ve noticed that the school grounds have definitely improved.
Anyone wanting to read the Zarkora series can purchase the books through Dymocks stores or online at www.zarkora.com.