The Long and Short Story


Mary-Lou Stephens was born in Tasmania, studied acting at The Victorian College of the Arts and played in bands in Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney before she got a proper job – in radio. She was a presenter and Music Director in both commercial radio and the ABC for twenty years. In her latest incarnation as a writer Mary-Lou garnered rave reviews for her memoir Sex, Drugs and Meditation, the true story of how meditation changed her life, saved her job and helped her find a husband.

“Bracingly honest, funny and rewarding, this is a book you can’t put down.”

Sydney Morning Herald

She lives on the Sunshine Coast with that very same husband and a hive of killer native bees.

Long (and more personal)

If one more person said to me “When one door closes another one opens,” I was going to throttle them. But you know what? They were right. For years I’d been playing in bands, touring and releasing CDs. I’d had a great time but was getting nowhere. When my last band broke up I knew I couldn’t do it all over again. I was heartbroken and exhausted and I had no idea what to do next. I’d studied acting at the Victorian College of the Arts and played in bands in Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney, none of which had set me up for a career. All I could see ahead was a string of dead-end jobs. That’s when the other door opened. It didn’t just open, a doorman opened it for me with a smile and inside a group of people greeted me with open arms. That was the doorway to radio.

When I was working in bands I played music and talked in between. When I started in commercial radio I played music and talked in between. Perfect. After working in commercial radio as a presenter and Music Director I joined the ABC on the Sunshine Coast and stayed there for 15 years. In that time I presented every shift ever invented and was the Music Director both locally and nationally. I presented the national networked program from the Woodford Folk Festival many times and had my own national show on ABC Local Radio digital and online, and on Radio Australia.

While I was working with the ABC I wanted to find out whether I could write a book and if, after having done that, I would want to write another. I took six months leave without pay and discovered the answer to both  questions was, “Yes.” Sex, Drugs and Meditation was published by Pan Macmillan. How To Stay Married was launched on my tenth wedding anniversary. Now I’ve left radio to write fiction. The journey continues.