Damien Linnane wrote his debut novel by hand while serving 10 months in prison.
He overcame an early shortage of paper and wrote every chapter twice, sending a copy to his best friend, to ensure the manuscript stayed safe.
Mr Linnane penned the crime novel Scarred while in prison for a series of crimes with the sentencing magistrate saying his motivation seemed to be vigilante action.
"I needed a place to escape to in prison and I did that every day by delving deeper into my novel," he said.
"The prison I went to, you have to work in order to stay there. I couldn't wait to get locked in during the evenings so I could get back to writing my novel."
Mr Linnane will speak about life, writing, art and his novel during a Port Macquarie Hastings Library Service online event from 2pm to 3pm on September 9.
The first draft of the thriller took five months to write.
Mr Linnane spent his remaining five months in prison learning how to draw.
He is now working on pieces for a third art exhibition.
Scarred was inspired by Mr Linnane's experiences with undiagnosed autism, childhood trauma and the prison system.
Mr Linnane refined the novel after his release from prison but it took two and a half years to find a publisher.
"When I went into prison, I chose the view it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop new skills and make the most of the quiet, alone time," Mr Linnane said.
"I'm very happy with how my life has turned out and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can get better and that is what I did."
"I have turned my life around."
The Newcastle-based author said the online library talk would appeal to anyone interested in the prison system, first-time authors looking for advice on how to find a publisher and people who loved books and wanted to hear the unique story about how Scarred was written.
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