Highly-respected writers, including Upper Hunter's Patrice Newell, headline Author Talk series at Muswellbrook Library

THE Muswellbrook Library will welcome two highly-respected authors, including the Upper Hunter's very own Patrice Newell, to its premises this month.

As part of the Author Talk series, Larry Boyd is scheduled to appear on Wednesday, June 12, while Ms Newell will discuss her latest offering, Who's Minding The Farm?, on Wednesday, June 26.

Both sessions take place from 11am, with light refreshments served each day.

Mr Boyd explores what it takes to be a proper man and a father in his book, Choice Boy.

"We all make bad choices from time to time," said the director of Different Degrees Theatre Ensemble, a disability theatre company.

"The consequences of these bad choices can be devastating.

"When young men and women make bad choices, these choices can follow them into later life and come back to haunt them."

In Choice Boy, Josh Adamson appears to have everything going for him.

Intelligent, good looking, a loving son, he is a gentle boy who makes a really bad choice at a very young age.

This sets him on a path of bad choices, which lead him into an underworld which he calls "The Neverland, because I never thought I would come out of it alive".

But he does.

A single father at 20, he is determined to remake himself into a real man and a proper father.

However, his dark past and employment with famous artist Max Tomas constantly threaten to derail his plans as he grapples with Max's lack of empathy, narcissism and violence.

"The novel presents a very different look at Australian society," Mr Boyd said.

"The starting point is men and their relationships with each other across the generations.

"Beauty is discussed from the male perspective and examines its place in a man's world."

Closer to home, Ms Newell asks Who's Minding The Farm?

"Far from a feeling of professionalism and prosperity, Australian farming's arse is hanging out of its trousers," she said.

"Agriculture is a $61 billion industry in Australia but one of the biggest culprits of environmental damage.

"As the effects of climate change become increasingly obvious, who's watching what happens on our farms?"

In 1987, Ms Newell left her job to become an organic farmer in Gundy.

At Elmswood, with her partner Phillip Adams, she produces biodynamic olive oil, garlic, honey, soap and beef.

It's from this vantage point she sees many unsustainable processes.

Who's Minding the Farm? is a detailed look at all aspects of the farming industry, and a call to action for every citizen to take responsibility.

"The spread of drug-addicted industrial agriculture cannot continue," Ms Newell said.

"It must not be our future."

Her books include Ten Thousand Acres: A Love Story, heartfelt calls for sustainable land use; The Olive Grove, her bestselling account of leaving the city for life on the land; and The River, a critically-acclaimed examination of water-management issues facing rural communities.

For bookings, contact the library on 6543 1913 or email library@muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au