Researcher biography

Dr Taryn Bashford is the award-winning author of The Harper Effect, a young adult novel published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and Skyhorse Publishing in the USA, as well as a second novel, The Astrid Notes, also published by Pan Macmillan. Both novels aim to shed a light on teens who go above and beyond the norm, never fearing failure, never giving up. Harper is an international tennis player, while Astrid becomes a world-renowned singer. What does it take to reach the top - and stay there - when you're only seventeen year's old? Taryn writes using both personal experience and research.

Her PhD research, both as a creative practitioner and a scholar, emerged out of the predominance of traumatic topics in young adult novels. Using trauma theory and affect theory, and experimenting with the effects of magic realism when narrating trauma, Taryn's work attempts to depict 'in scene' trauma without sensationalising or glorifying. This is preferable to banning trauma novels and treating traumatic topics as taboo. For trauma novels to trigger positive change in society and culture, deep reader engagement is key and the use of techniques within magic realism can have the effect of buffering the trauma depicted while still safely allowing the reader to explore and engage with the trauma.

In the past, Taryn has spoken at numerous literary conferences and worked with Queensland Writers Centre conducting writing workshops and also being a mentor to their unpublished writers.

Areas of research