I grew up in Sydney, at first near the beach and later on the leafy north side. I've lived in the inner city too, and nearly twelve years in the NSW country town of Orange. For three years my husband and kids and I lived in Belgium (the best place in the world to eat chocolate) but now we're happily back in Australia . I love travelling, from camping in the desert to dog-sleighing in the Arctic . It fascinates me how people everywhere are different, but the same.
My mum had only three or four books in her whole childhood so she made sure my brother and sister and I had plenty. There used to be a ‘White Elephant' second hand shop in Chatswood where we spent hours looking for 20c treasures. At night my dad read to us while mum studied to be an English teacher. His favourite book was ‘The Loaded Dog' by Henry Lawson. It reminded him of the people (and dogs) he knew when he was a kid growing up in the bush. He used to laugh so much he couldn't read the words, and soon we'd all be laughing hysterically too. I don't know how my mum managed to study.
As a child I played endless imaginary games, and built endless cubbies: under tables, up trees, between chairs, washing lines and bushes. I have a distinct memory of sitting under my mother's desk listening to 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas now' in the record player and wrapping up presents to give myself right 'now'. Writing is a way of keeping connected to that imaginary world where anything can happen, I guess.
When my son was in first class, the teacher wrote ‘When I grow up I want to be …' and my son wrote 'magic'. That's just how I feel about being able to write a story and see it become a real book. I get ideas from everywhere. Some days, ideas fizz in my head like a shaken up bottle of lemonade. The hard part I think is getting the ideas organised!