Based in Sydney, Australia, David Latta is an award-winning editor, journalist and photographer. His work has appeared in scores of Australian and international newspapers and magazines including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Courier-Mail and Travel & Leisure.

In the last two decades, he has largely concentrated on travel and tourism, editing more than a dozen B2B titles and major conference and incentive travel publications.

He is the author of critically-acclaimed books on such subjects as architecture and design, Australian history, literary criticism and music. These titles include Lost Glories: A Memorial To Forgotten Australian Buildings, Sand On The Gumshoe: A Century Of Australian Crime Writing, and Australian Country Music.

He is currently working on three novels including  a thriller set in Sydney during World War II.

As an arts commentator, humourist and trend-spotter, his opinions are sought across the gamut of traditional and social media.

DL is also one-third of the travel blogging partnership Place Oddity, along with Glenn A. Baker and John Borthwick. That blog can be found at http://www.placeoddity.com – check it out.

He is currently living in Bali, working on a new novel and his tan, not necessarily in that order. A new blog, Bali + The Creative Sojourn, devoted to reflections on the craft of writing, expat life in Bali, and whatever else catches his fancy can be found at http://www.balithecreativesojourn.com

David Latta can be contacted at davidlatta390@gmail.com

Oh, and by the way, as so many people seem to Google this, if the term It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish seems familiar, it’s certainly not because of the real reason. It’s a song. A show tune, actually. From a musical not many people paid attention to at the time and certainly, outside of Broadway tragics, nobody remembers anymore. It came from Seesaw, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, music by Cy Coleman and book by Michael Bennett. It opened on Broadway in 1973, after a torturous out-of-town try-out that saw the original book thrown out, along with the director and star, Coleman and Fields reworking the musical numbers and Bennett creating a new book with the help of Neil Simon. It was at this rebirth that It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish was added. Interestingly, it was a song that Coleman and Fields had in their bottom drawer for some years, originally intended for an unproduced musical on Eleanor Roosevelt.

Back in the 1970s, I worked at a fashionable nightclub in Sydney that had the most elaborate drag shows. One of the shows concluded with this song and it stuck with me ever since.

Words and photos © David Latta

26 thoughts on “About”

  1. Love the blogs, about time you did this babe. Keep them I and I will be a regular reader.

  2. i have followed your career for a long time i love what you write but also your scene of humor that shines through your writing thank you.

  3. David, I bought a ‘Kindle’ recently and I am wondering whether ‘Sand on the Gumshoe’ is available as an ebook.

  4. You’re most welcome. For those of you who came in late, Surface View is a UK company that specialises in art prints of all types and sizes, up to wall-size. They have a 3.6 metre by 2.4 metre full-colour mural of Tretchikoff’s Lady Of The Orient which would be a worthy addition to any mid-century home. Check it, and Surface View’s numerous other holdings, at http://www.surfaceview.co.uk.

  5. Hi David,
    Just read your chapter on Brisbane Masonic Temples. My special interest is the Alice Street Temple. Where did you get the photo? I could only get one from 1942. Have you any photos from the inside of the temple? Your chapter on Freemasonry in Queensland is great!

  6. Now that’s straining the memory cells. For those of you who came in late, the reference is to a chapter in my 1986 book, Lost Glories (Angus & Robertson). Photo came from the National Trust of Queensland. I may well have it around here somewhere although everything is packed up in boxes at the moment. I’ll let you know.

  7. David
    i’m currently undertaking a research project for the Kew Historical Society on Coonoor-Byram-Goathland-TaraHall-Lowan etc and I had not known of your chapter on Goathland in ‘Lost Glories’ until after I had begun. I have enjoyed what you wrote immensely and it has filled in lots of gaps in my research to date. I’m not sure whether what you wrote about Coonoor is correct, but I’m accepting it at the moment. If you are interested, you can read about what I write at rbkr.wordpress.com.

  8. Thanks, Robert, for the plug on Lost Glories. I’ll re-read the Tara Hall chapter and see if my research notes are still around and if there’s anything else to add. Be back to you later.

  9. I’m hoping they’re still here. I’ve been streamlining my archives prior to a move overseas and I’m not sure if, after sitting untouched for decades, I haven’t tossed them out. I know I kept the photographs aside. Just a matter of finding where I put them.

  10. Hey Robert – finally found (or rather, didn’t find) the files. Kept all the photos but tossed the research material. It’s crazy that I’d kept them all this time and only culled them last year. Sorry.

  11. Thank you for looking David. That you kept your research that long astonishes me. I love throwing things out, including my research, at a much earlier date. In relation to the photographs, I presume that you sourced them from the archives of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. Did you use all the photographs that they provided? I also wondered about the quality of the photographs. They do not appear to be in any other collection. I wonder whether they (ie the RWH) kept copies? The other day I was looking at the two Strizic photographs of the exterior that have been digitised by the SLV. These two and the RWH photographs are the best photos of the house that I have seen.

  12. David, do you know where I could find more information about Doris Lilly’s life? I’ve been searching I cannot find anything.

    1. It’s interesting that Doris Lilly hasn’t attracted more attention. I couldn’t even find a Wikipedia entry on her and there’s no biography that I know of. I did find one mention of a diary she kept but no verification and her papers don’t seem to have gone to any public institution. So she’s a bit of a mystery. As a friend of Capote, however, there would have been many wonderful stories shared especially as he delighted in prising the most intimate secrets from his friends and acquaintances. Perhaps she was also intended as a character in Answered Prayers. So the short answer is – sorry I can’t help. But I wouldn’t walk past a volume about Capote (or Hollywood of a certain period; she was known to have dated Ronald Reagan and Gene Kelly amongst others) without checking the index.

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