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Noosaville man's wacky letters to celebs in new book

DEAR NEV: Neville Mills has recently released his fourth book, The Curious Letters of Mervyn Mudal.
DEAR NEV: Neville Mills has recently released his fourth book, The Curious Letters of Mervyn Mudal. john mccutcheon

HE is the Sunshine Coast's own Letterman, working the celebrities and big names to get a laugh, but on paper rather than on his own show.

Noosaville's Neville Mills has spent years writing silly letters to politicians, sports people, and business and industry leaders.

Posing as a retired Goondiwindi farmer struggling with modern life at Noosa, he has questioned if saving more books will make his kindle heavier, if roundabouts cause insomnia, and if a tennis ball should be as painful as tennis elbow.

The book, his fourth, follows two children's books and another that also involved correspondence to celebrities and sports stars, The Humphrey Hatt Letters.

Mr Mills said he was inspired by a book he read years ago, The Henry Root Letters, a collection of clever but strange letters written by satirist and writer William Donaldson, posing as a wet-fish merchant.

The books have been retirement projects for Mr Mills, a former accountant and recruitment executive.

After selling his executive recruitment firm, he and his wife moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast, where he completed a bachelor of arts, majoring in writing.

But his mischievous streak and sense of fun with language has been awaiting an outlet since he was a boy.

He said he was surprised at how seriously some of the recipients treated his letters.

His favourite reply was from Australian cook, food author and restaurateur Maggie Beer.

After Mervyn wrote that his wife threw away a recipe for marmalade and macadamia biscuits following a naked brush with the gasman.

Ms Beer sent him the recipe again "absolutely positive next time they will work out brilliantly."

Mr Mills has self-published The Curious Letters of Mervyn Mudal. For copies, go to http://www.nevmills.com.

Topics:  book letters satire



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