How long have you been writing?
I have always enjoyed writing, especially when in primary school. Topics like “My Life in the Day of a Pencil” and “My Holidays” were some I can remember!
In High School I wrote for the School Magazine and as a teenager I wrote some shockingly bad poetry, which I thought was beautiful.
I have been a prolific writer of “Letters to the Editor” of various newspapers and I have written brief articles for very small local news publications in small country towns.
I have always been available to write poems for staff functions; people leaving or retiring or fridges breaking down and being replaced.
Which book is your favourite?
When “Limpopo Lullaby”, illustrated by Dee Huxley, was released in 2004, it was my first book and was my favourite!
In 2005 “Glass Tears”, illustrated by Di Wu, was published. A totally different story with completely different illustrations. It was my equal favourite.
In 2006 “Ali the Bold Heart”, illustrated by Elise Hurst, was published. Once again it was a beautiful book in its own right with a completely different story to tell.
So it is a bit like asking a parent , ‘Who is your favourite child?’.
I have no favourite, I love them all.
Where do you get your ideas from?
All around me. I am constantly listening in to conversations and watching things happen around me. I keep a list of potential story ideas. My list is huge and I have enough ideas to last a lifetime. I often just start with a sentence I
have heard and build on from there. If you are a teacher when do you find time to write?I write mainly in the evenings when my daughter is asleep and husband is busy with his stuff. I use any other opportunity I can to write though and if I find a few spare minutes I am in on the computer writing.
What do you use to write?
I start making notes with pen and paper. Then I type up my story on the computer. I print out the first draft and then check with a pen. I then go back to the computer and make any changes necessary. Then I print out again and go through
the whole process again and again until I am happy with the final draft.
Do you only write children’s stories?
No. I write poetry, serious and fun, and I write short stories for adults. I have had a few poems published in anthologies.
Have you got any stories on the go now?
I have usually got quite a few stories happening at once. I work on one and then I leave it for a while and go on with another. There are also lots that I start and never get round to finishing.
Do you get to choose the illustrator for your books?
No, that is the publisher’s choice but I have been very lucky so far in that “Limelight Press” included me in many of the negotiations about the illustrations.
Are you ever going to write a novel?I am actually working on one at the moment but it is going very slowly.
What is your favourite book that you have read?
As a child it was “The Little Green Road to Fairyland”. As an adult I have read many, many books and it is very hard to choose but “To Kill a Mockingbird” would have to be up there.
Who is your favourite children’s author?
I love Bob Graham and his books, especially his illustrations. “Queenie the Bantam” is my favourite Bob Graham book.
Have you got any pets?
We’ve got 6 chooks, which I think of as my pets. When they stop laying I can’t give them the chop. They stay with us and die of old age! We also have a maltese x poodle called Toffee. She is thirteen old now and is the cutest little fluffy dog ever! Oh and there are two goldfish in a pond. They don’t have names but every now and then they pop their heads up to say hello.
What is your favourite and worst food?
I love chocolate. Is that a food? I hate brussels sprouts. There should be a law against them.
Who’s your favourite band?
The Rolling Stones. I went to their “Bigger Bang” concert in Melbourne in 2006. My favourite Rolling Stones song is “Paint it Black”.