Date of Success:
I was born in Brisbane, but grew up on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. As a child I was always surrounded by pets and quickly turned into an animal fanatic. At 11, I made the connection between the cow and the steak and turned vegetarian. Apart from animals, my other great interests as a child were writing and reading.
Although my first publishing success came early (a poem in the high school magazine) 18 long years in the public service dampened my creative spark. Luckily I opted for a career change, began teaching (before succumbing to death by forms) and rediscovered my love of writing, particularly for children.
Since 2005, I have had seven books published, the majority for children and young adults.
Since 2019, I split my time between our houses in Qld (winter) and Tasmania (summer). Perfect!
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
My CYA journey began in 2007 when I entered a number of manuscripts into the CYA competition. Although I didn’t win, the feedback was fantastic.
In 2009, I entered again and was delighted to win first and highly commended in the picture book section. Interestingly, my previous 41st entry was the winner this time - if at first you don’t succeed…! My wins gave me two lovely certificates, some cash (always nice) and most importantly, confirmation that I could write.
2010 became my year of submissions. I even had the courage to organise pitching sessions with editors and an agent at the 2010 CYA Conference. I’m pleased to say that 2010 also became my year of success, with the publication of Dog Logic – a pooch’s guide to dogs behaving badly (Big Sky Publishing), a quirky ‘manual’ from a dog’s perspective, co-pawthored by Socks, the Philosophical Pooch. Picture books Going Fishing& Going Camping (Big Sky Publishing) followed in 2014. These upbeat tales celebrate family adventures in the great outdoors. Midget Bones’ Diary (Puppy Care Ed. 2014) is the memoir of a very special mongrel, ‘written’ by my other clever canine companion Snowy, a.k.a. ‘The Bones’. Canine related and narrated, Midget Bones’ Diary is witty, winsome and just a wee bit wicked.
In 2017, My Dog Socks (Ford Street) was released. A heart-warming picture book exploring friendship, loyalty and belonging, My Dog Socks was unashamedly inspired by my own adored dog. My Dog Socks was a 2018 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable Book, shortlisted in the 2018 Speech Pathology Book of the Year and is on the Premier’s Reading Challenge Book List in three Australian states. My recently released picture book, Bruno, the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush (Big Sky Publishing) is an alliterative tale which celebrates mate ship and introduces young readers to the quintessential language of the Australian bush.