At the age of four, Joe Paris Lee suffered a crisis of confidence as a writer. He was watching his father read a newspaper and he wondered how he was ever going to learn to make sense of those strange marks on the page. Instinctively he knew that without it his writing would suffer. He surmounted this first literary hurdle by going to school, where he immersed himself in such classics as Five Go To Smuggler’s Top, Another Job For Biggles and Bill Speed On Hot Ice.
So immersed did Lee become in books, he failed to notice the passage of time from day to night, thus leading to his ability to read in the dark, a skill he would use to good effect when he became a writer who couldn't pay his power bills.
It was in high school where his writing blossomed, under the tutelage of English master, Mango Mackerras, who saw talent in his young protégé, where others saw only pimples and big ears. "I particularly enjoyed his Bus Stop piece," recalls Mackerras. "I laughed until I stopped laughing. And I usually don’t laugh at bus stops. Whereas train stations, that’s another matter altogether."
Knowing that writing was the only thing he wanted to do in his life, Lee spent the next 40 years avoiding it. But eventually his fate, out of breath and with blisters for Africa, caught up with him in the form of A Job For Joe, a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek look at the 56 jobs in 60 years that, up until now, have kept him from fulfilling his destiny as a writer.