I am fascinated by people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone

to follow their dream. Cairns writer, Elizabeth Martin is one such person.

Long before she was a successful writer, she graduated from the  University

of Melbourne as a doctor. A very good one at that. I was fortunate to catch

up with her a the Far North Queensland lady doctors association meeting in


“I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. ”

“My dad wasn’t convinced. he told me that if I

had a career that gives you money, then you

can follow your dream. So I became a doctor



Dr Martin completed her  medical degree at

Melbourne University in 1992.  She  completed

a Diploma of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in

1995 and a Fellowship of the RACGP in 1997 to become a specialist in

general practice. “I liked obstetrics, but the hours were killing me. One time

I had worked ten nights in a row. It wasn’t going well so I decided to become

a general practitioner.”


While she worked as a GP she went back to university to pursue her dream

of writing. She she began her Bachelor of Letters and earned first class honors in her first year. She moved to

Cains and started writing her first book,t he Coffeeholic and the Cafe .”I have never stopped scribbling even when I was training as a doctor”.


When she finally published her first book it was bitter sweet. “The

day I got an email from the publisher that my book would be published

was the same day I found out my sister had terminal breast cancer”.

“The BRCA 1 gene mutation runs in our family.” This is a gene which confers a very high risk for cancer.

“Cehra’s was such a unique individual. She lived by her own rules”.

After her sister died  she stopped writing. “I just didn’t

have the love for it. Cehra’s cancer and the publisher’s wanting my second book put me off

writing for a while”. It took time, but eventually she got back

into writing.  “Now I am  back to writing every day”.She is working on her

latest book ,”Monangatong“, which should be out early  next year.


“My stories feel like my children. ……I do not have the heart to kill any of my children”.


I asked her about what drives her to write.”My stories feel almost like

children. If I do not write the book it is like they will not come to life. So

I have to write. I do not have the heart to kill any of my children”.

How could I argue with that. I feel the same……….. most of the time.




Biography (plagiarized from her website)

Martin works as a GP, medical educator and mother of three boys, but would love to spend more time writing novels. Elizabeth realised her dream of becoming a published author when—in financial desperation—sh

e submitted some short stories to Medical Observer. This gave her confidence to tackle ‘the novel’. In 2010 she published her debut romantic comedy The Coffeeholic and the Cafe, and in 2014 its sequel, The Teahouse in the Lime Trees. Both novels are set in Far North Queensland. The Coffeeholic and the Cafe was re-released by Boolarong Press in 2013 as All You Need is Love + Coffee.
Elizabeth’s short story Second Thoughts was published in the ABC anthology Great Australian Rabbit Stories (2010), Mango Jam in the Tropical Writers anthology Category 5 (2011), Damn Dog Won’t Die in the QWRRRN/Writer’s Web e-an thology (2013), and The Hat, the bird and the Naughty Little Boy in the Tropical Writers anthology Lost in Mangroves (2013). Her poem Silence Slices won the Port Douglas/Mossman Gazette/Reef Writers competition (2012). Elizabeth is currently working on her third novel, Manangatang, which is not about coffee, tea or any other kind of drug. Elizabeth Martin lives with husband, three boys and various other animals in Cairns.