M.B. Lehane first came to prominence when he invented the wheel, the hula-hoop and donuts (although not in that order). Those achievements were quickly surpassed when he discovered fire and the fire extinguisher (in that order), as well as paper (that one figured somewhere in between the other two). More recently, he is responsible for the automobile, television, mobile phones, the internet and pet rocks (even the Great One’s have off days). On the sporting front, he achieved the rare Olympic double of winning the marathon and 100 yard dash while draped in his nation’s flag. He also took out gymnastics gold with his masterful performance of the bent knee cartwheel.
Mr Lehane is also known to occasionally write works of fiction.
Probing and insightful questions for the author
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Why a Crown Prosecutor?
My path to prosecution began in the early years of schooling when I tried to steal Paul Ludwofer’s Planet of the Ape cards. They’d been confiscated by our music teacher, who placed the valuable merchandise in her handbag. Undeterred, I undertook the daring heist during a class rendition of Amazing Grace. Miss Lynn was also our religious teacher. I must have considered my voice to be extraordinarily hypnotic (M.B. Lehane is a phenomenal singer, however, that’s another story). Things did not end well.
Excuses were hard to find. My creditability was already damaged owing to a previous claim that I was born on a cruise ship bound for Australia from Ireland. The idea always appealed to me as a fairly exotic way of coming into existence. Perhaps I was seeking dual citizenship.
Anyway, I coped sufficiently with the public shaming from that debacle to again descend into dishonesty, cheating on a maths exam, the following year. My partner in crime and I had an understanding we could look at each other’s test answers when the need arose. I never gave him up though. Nor will I now. I’m taking that one to the grave baby!
Having established myself as a rotten fraudster, I decided to go on the straight and narrow, abandoning my life of crime. So from early days I knew I wanted to be a Crown Prosecutor. The job isn’t as regal as it sounds. Though it is very challenging and rewarding. I’m very passionate about the role.
What are you addicted to?
I’m a sweetoholic. My very first memory is going to the hospital when my little sister was born. We all got to eat some fruit and nut chocolate, except presumably, my little sister. That’s all I remember about the visit and I’m not even a fruit and nut fan. It’s been a constant battle ever since.
What are you afraid of?
Mm…I’ll ask the question again. WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
O.K, O.K, Great White Sharks and… sigh, grasshoppers (the large ones). I really don’t see why we can’t square the species off against each other, to at least save me some stress. My money's on the grasshoppers. Particularly, if it’s a land battle.
Do you have any pets?
I have a dog who thinks he’s human or a human who looks a heck of a lot like a dog – Jock. He's kind enough to let me stay in his house.
Oh, and a pet rock of course – Humperdink.
What is your favourite book?
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I know, so clichéd but true. Locally, the Zarkora series are fine books. I'm also a huge fan of Emily Rodda, Isobelle Carmody and John Flanagan.
What is your greatest sporting achievement?
My team won the Brisbane Rugby League Grand Final in Grade 7 and Grade 10. I scored trys in each game. This also happened to be the only ones I scored all year. Being a winger, that wasn’t a terribly impressive statistic. Personally, I like to think I timed my run to perfection.
Which of your characters is most like you?
When did you start writing?
In Grade Three I wrote this massive story about a baby Pterodactyl obsessed with candy bars. My teacher was most impressed. Conductoid might possibly be regarded as a superior work. Depending upon how much you like candy bars.
What made you write Conductoid?
A voice inside of me said it really needed to be written. A really annoying, persistent and very impolite voice. So I eventually gave in. Writing Conductoid was so much fun. Hard work at times, but still fun.
What are you worst at?
Tough question, there’s a lot of competition. I’m a shocking drawer. Please see exhibit A below;
And that was done with the assistance of a fair bit of tracing. As you can see, doing my own illustrations was never an option. Luckily, I found a brilliant artist, Aaron Pocock, to do the job for me.
Some may say I’m an even worse singer than drawer (this is the other story). I do find my vocal talents are rarely appreciated. Sadly, there are many jealous people in this world.
Where were you born?
I was actually born on a cruise ship… Ah yeah right, scrap that one. I was born in Brisbane, Queensland and have lived there most of my life.
Are you really afraid of grasshoppers?
Did I say grasshoppers? Sorry, I meant a worldwide stock market crash. And for the record, the words purportedly used were LARGE grasshoppers!
See I told you so!