Media Articles and Interviews

Ever wondered what a plane crash feels like? It was all in a day’s work for multi-award-winning author and airline pilot, Helene Young.
As a check captain with Australia’s largest regional airline, QantasLink, her job was to ensure aircrew can handle all inflight emergencies. It came in handy for writing fast-paced suspense novels starring feisty women and sexy men.
The inspiration for her first novel began with a tragic discovery.  “Early one morning, walking our dog, I found a body washed up on Trinity Beach. While there was nothing sinister in that discovery, it planted the seed of an idea for a novel focusing on the terrorist threat to Australia. Working as a captain with Australia’s largest regional airline I fly with crews who have flown for the current Customs and Border Protection contractor. That made it easy to draw on their experiences and weave my characters through a realistic scenario.”
Helene books have won the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. She was also voted favourite romantic suspense author by the Australian Romance Readers Association in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and was shortlisted for the same award in 2012. Burning Lies was shortlisted for the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award Mystery/Suspense in America.

Helene has just taken leave of absence from her role as a Regional Flying Manager with the airline. You’ll now find her sailing the Coral Sea with her husband aboard their catamaran, Roo Bin Esque. In between seeking new adventures she finds time to indulge her love of tropical gardens, cooking, and discovering new authors and their wonderful books.

Helene is available for speaking engagements, school visits or library chats. She conducts writing courses at Writers Festivals and on behalf of the Queensland Writers Centre. She also travels to book clubs and writing groups on request.

Contact her:

Via the “Contact’ tab on this website.

Or via her agent, Clare Forster, from Curtis Brown on 61 3 9388 8145 or email


Her books:

WINGS OF FEAR(Border Watch), voted Romantic Book of the Year in 2011, is the first of her loosely linked trilogy focusing on the coastal surveillance operations round Australia.

SHATTERED SKY, the second book, which also won the Romantic Book of the Year 2012, is set in the world of the Outlawed Motorcycle gangs and organised crime. These first two books were also awarded the Favourite Romantic Suspense novels by the Australian Romance Readers Association in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

BURNING LIES, the final Border Watch book, was released in July 2012 by Penguin Australia. A passionate love story, it’s set on the Atherton Tablelands at the height of bushfire season.

Helene’s fourth novel, HALF MOON BAY, released 22nd May, 2103 was chosen as the June Book of the Month by The Get Reading team and Helene toured Australia talking to readers at libraries and community centres. Her story of a small town fighting a corrupt local government resonated strongly with readers. It was voted Favourite Romantic Suspense novel for 2013 by the Australian Romance Readers Association.

Helene’s fifth book, SAFE HARBOUR, released in April 2014. Set in the coastal hamlet of Banksia Cove this ‘friends to lovers’ story is set against a back drop of drugs in sport and international crime syndicates. The action starts on page one and doesn’t let up. It was also voted Favourite Romantic Suspense 2014 at the Australian Romance Readers Convention making it back to back wins for Helene’s stories.

NORTHERN HEAT released on 27th May, 2015. Set in Cooktown, with a cyclone bearing down on the coast, this is a redemption story with the awful consequences of domestic violence at its heart. Picking up from SAFE HARBOUR, almost twelve months on, we see Conor finally show his true colours. It took out the Favourite Romantic Suspense award in 2015 at the Australian Romance Readers’ Awards night.


Professional Aviation Qualifications

Regional Flying Manager, QantasLink, QLD

Check and Training Captain Dash 8 400

Airline Transport Pilot Licence

Grade One Multi-Engine IFR Flying Instructor

Civil Aviation Safety Authority Approved Testing Officer


Articles on Helene – Please also see the other pages under Media

Profile Magazine, July 2012

The Age – Story written by Helene for the Melbourne Age 5/02/2011

Courier Mail March 2010 – Fiona Purdon

Herald Sun March 2010 -Fiona Purdon

Radio Interviews

612 ABC Radio Podcast, 2012

BBC World News 2011- Birmingham, Conventry and London. Live crosses during Cyclone Yasi

ABC Far North – 2010 Fiona Sewell

Community Radio Cairns  2010 and 2011 – Bev Blaauw