This year he was a 2012 Deadlys® finalist for the Outstanding Achievement in Literature category with his first book Second Life. He was up against some tough competition, including the winner Ali Cobby Eckerman for Ruby Moonlight.
Chaise is a descendant of the Muthi Muthi, Wamba Wamba Nations, and grew up at Tyntynder South, northwest of Victoria. He is the youngest of three children and began to show an interest in writing at the age of 13. He began writing early and was mentored by his grandmother.
“She taught me how to create and then do creative writing. I began to write because I had a lot of ideas I wanted to get down on paper, and I like fiction,” he says.
“Most of my writing explores alternative world stories, because there are things you can’t do in a real world that you can in science fiction. My first book Second Life is set in an alternative world, and I’m releasing its sequel, Aer, next month on 25 December.
“Hopefully I’ll have a third book out next year, which is a bit different from my first two in that it’s sci-fi noir, a pretty dark, cult-fiction story.”
To be a successful writer requires discipline. Chaise, who boards at Prince Alfred College
in South Australia, writes when he has time between his schoolwork, mostly on a Wednesday night and Saturday afternoon.
“Last Saturday I wrote about 5000 words and I aim for 1000 words every 20 minutes. I write in the boarding house – I’ve found a nice quiet spot.
“I love the creativity of writing and not being restricted.”
Published by Xlibris, Second Life is the first of what will be the Aurora Trilogy, an adolescent fiction-fantasy series.
Chaise cites the support of role models, including past and current teachers, as well as the encouragement of peers, as the thing that gives him motivation and self-belief.
The storytelling tradition of his Aboriginal heritage also encourages him to embrace his imagination and creativity. “I have a lot of thoughts and I like to write them down, so I just started writing,” he says.