‘I am me. Stories fill me and make me grow. So does ice cream. I can’t get enough of either.’
Once upon a time…
I was born in a town overlooking Magnetic Island in the Coral Sea.
I grew up in the suffocating wet heat of far north Queensland where the mashed-pumpkin coloured poos of fruit bats and the threat of passing cyclones were part of my childhood fabric.
Just before I turned seven, we swapped fresh paw paws and cyclones for stone fruits and storms of marauding galahs, moving from Townsville to Adelaide, South Australia.
At school, I looked a bit exotic and sounded a bit different because I came from the faraway Land of Queens (aka Queensland). To avoid questions about my origins, I would flee to the shade of our apricot tree and read. I didn’t really need the apricot tree; I could read anywhere.
‘If books were portals into other places and times, then the local library was my universe.’
I spent the rest of my childhood dreaming of flight, tickling pigeons, riding my bike like a horse (using the dog’s lead as reins), writing stories about things with feathers and fur, and plotting my return to Queensland.
I was sure I was going to grow up to be some sort of ‘arian’, like a veterinarian or librarian but graduated in hotel management and ended up touring the world instead. My pen and diary went with me.
‘Some people believe ideas are born in our imaginations but I think some of the best stories come from life – and simply living it.’
One day, I returned to Australia and eventually something miraculous happened; I gained the title I had always yearned for – ‘mummy’.
Now after some years on the parental rollercoaster, I can honestly say, it’s one of the wackiest, most wonderful trips I’ve ever been on (crossing the Bermuda Triangle notwithstanding). Coming in a close second to ‘why-on-earth-would-you-choose-that-as-an-occupation’ is being an author. I guess there’s something about being under paid and over worked that I find alluring, that and the smile on a child’s face when they unlock one of life’s mysteries for the very first time. It’s why I write for them.
‘I love being an ambassador for children’s literature. My immersion in words allows me to wallow in the same wonderment I experienced as a six year-old learning to read. There is a magic in that I simply cannot walk away from.’
The End, Not The End
For extra sequel-type tip bits, visit RAQs (Rarely Asked Questions page)