Eileen Ormsby has travelled a colourful path to publishing her first book, an in-depth look at notorious online drug market Silk Road.
From an initial idea in her feature-writing journalism class, to being commissioned by publisher Pan Macmillan, the RMIT Professional Writing and Editing alumnus has shown unyielding resolve in completing her non-fiction work.
Silk Road investigates the true tale of the billion dollar online drug market penned the "eBay of drugs", and its alleged founder and kingpin Dread Pirate Roberts.
Ms Ormsby remains down to earth about her whirlwind publishing experience, describing the past few years as a "rollercoaster of emotion".
"On the one hand, it is the most exciting, important, and amazing event of my life. On the other, nobody else – outside my family and friends – really cares," she said.
Enduring the volatility of the online black market cyber-system, Ms Ormsby covered the story in real time; from the formation of the Silk Road website, to the arrest of its alleged founder and the creation of similar platforms.
"There were times I was paralysed with self-doubt and went through crippling periods of writer's block," she conceded.
"After the first draft, we went through major re-writes and decided to change it from a personal journey into third-person objective reporting."
Having previously obtained a Bachelor of Arts/Law degree, Ms Ormsby worked as a corporate lawyer and a production manager for cinema advertising before joining the Professional Writing and Editing program at RMIT in 2010.
"The Professional Writing and Editing program was invaluable; the class was incredibly supportive," she said.
Professional Writing and Editing Program Coordinator, Stephanie Holt, said Ms Ormsby’s achievement is a great example of tenacity and resilience.
"It's very exciting to see Eileen’s book released, especially from a major trade publisher like Pan Macmillan," Ms Holt said.
“Her teachers and classmates remember Silk Road as a first-year writing assignment – even then it was obvious she was onto a great subject, and had just the right mix of skills to do it justice.”
"Eileen has that great combination of a lawyer’s understanding and a journalist’s nose for a story."
Silk Road can be purchased in various retailers in store and online, as well as the Pan Macmillan Australia website.