As a primary school teacher, PJ Kelly has been exposed to many heartbreaking stories, having to stand by helplessly as tragedy unfolds in front of his eyes.
'Some families are trapped in a cycle of abuse, poverty and despair and nothing we do can change that.'
It was this collision of moral outrage and legal indifference that spawned The Good Teacher, a novel about a teacher battling to protect her most vulnerable charges in the face of a failing legal system.
And while the desire to write this story burned bright, it still took several years and many drafts to complete. PJ is clearly enjoying the role of published author, already looking toward his second novel, tentatively titled 'The Narrative'.
PJ's best decision is that he took Mark Twain's oft-quoted advice to authors, 'Write what you know'. He is now getting top marks from the people that matter.