He's a multi-published, award-winning children's book author from Walcha in northern NSW with book titles to his name like A Horse Called Elvis and The Revenge of Dr von Burpinburger.
John Heffernan was in Blackheath on Saturday to help school 14 aspiring authors and illustrators in the fine art of publishing.
They covered everything from creating an idea, characters and a storyboard, to presenting a manuscript, working in a digital world and what to expect if your work is published.
The one-day course on creating children's picture books was organised by children's book publisher and Order of Australia recipient Margaret Hamilton, and held at Pinerolo, her children's book cottage in Blackheath, where she promotes picture books and runs a program of illustrators in residence.
Mr Heffernan, who writes for both young and older readers, said new authors needed to make sure they "have their heart in it" but said publishers were now "looking for new blood".
"The impact of e-books has made them think we need to look far afield, " he said.
He hoped the course "imparted a sense of 'I can do it' and a realisation it's also not a piece of cake".
Ms Hamilton said she had discovered several promising authors through her courses over the last eight years during the Show and Tell section at the end of the day.