(1897–1956), born Balmain, Sydney, became a reporter with the Melbourne Herald and contributed stories to Table Talk and the Bulletin. In 1922 he accompanied American millionaire A.Y. Gowen on a world tour in his yacht Speejacks, an experience that provided Collins with the material for his travel book Sea-Tracks of the Speejacks Round the World (1923) and the novel Ordeal (1924), which became a best-seller and later a film, The Ship from Shanghai. In the period 1923–48 Collins lived in England but travelled widely gathering material for the many romantic novels about shipboard life and Oceanian places, including Australia, that appeared under his own name or under his pseudonyms, ‘Michael Copeland’ and ‘Stephen Fennimore’; the latter was also used in his books for children. He returned to Australia to live in 1948. In addition to Ordeal, his novels included The Haven (1925), The Sentimentalists (1927), Vanity under the Sun (1928), Idolaters (1929), Rich and Strange (1930), Jungle Maid (1932), Lost (1933), Vulnerable (1933) and The Mutiny of Madam Yes (1935). Race the Sun (1936) is set in the new medium of air travel while The Fifth Victim (1930) is, like his first novel Stolen or Strayed (1922), a crime novel. Bright Vista (1946) and Victoria's My Home Ground (1951) are autobiographically based.
From The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature in Oxford Reference.