So this is me!
I have been writing stories ever since I can remember, and I wanted to be a published author from the age of about 3. I did go through a brief period where I wanted to be a marine biologist, until I found out that you had to do science. I didn’t really enjoy science, so I decided I would just be a dolphin trainer. I also wanted to be an archaeologist for a while, because I really loved ancient history, particularly stories about ancient Egypt, but the science issue reared its ugly head again.
When I was in Year 4, we all had to stand up at the end of year assembly and say what we were going to be when we grew up. By then, I had it all figured out. I stood up and said I was going to be the Queen of Egypt. And an author. You see, as Queen of Egypt, I would have subjects who would do all the scientific side of archaeology for me, while I just had the fun of digging things up. Plus, as a Queen, I could surely train as many dolphins as I wanted. And I still wanted to be an author. I was sure I could fit it in on the side. Plus it would probably be pretty easy to get published and I had a guaranteed readership. Every school in Egypt would stock my books, at the very least.
I love writing fiction, and my play ‘Allure’ was performed in Bathurst in 2002. I’ve been writing plays since I was 4, which was when my grandfather built me a miniature stage. As I grew up I used to write plays and perform them with my toys and dolls. I have a very big family, and every Wednesday we all went to my grandparents’ house for dinner. I used to write a new play almost every week, and on Wednesday night I would go round selling tickets, and make my whole family come and watch my latest masterpiece. My mum has seven brothers and a sister, many of whom were married or had their own children, so I was always guaranteed an audience of at least 20 people.
Whale in the Bath is a picture book, and these have always been my favourites. I have two brothers, a sister-in-law, two nieces and seventeen cousins (most of them younger than me), and they have all received at least one poem or picture book for their birthdays!
It would be impossible to list all my favourite books here (there are too many), but my all-time favourite book is To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I even named my dog Scout. She was a big white labradoodle, although it’s possible she was a sheep. Or maybe a horse. She was pretty big and woolly. Either way, the best dog in the world. Even better than Timmy.
Some interesting facts about me: I’ve travelled all over the world. I still love ancient history and I’ve been to the sites of 6 of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. I even scuba-dived in the remains of the Pharos Lighthouse in Alexandria. I’ve run the 400 metres on the original (now very overgrown) track in Olympia in Greece. I’ve explored ancient cliff dwellings in Petra, Jordan and underground cities in Turkey. I’ve been inside an Egyptian pyramid. I’ve crawled through a secret passage in the ruins of Delphi where the famous oracle used to live. I’ve climbed to the top of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I’ve seen the sun rise from the top of Mount Sinai where Moses received the 10 Commandments, and it was so cold that the water in my water bottle had frozen solid by the time I reached the peak. I think I slipped over on the icy track about 49 times on the way down. I’ve walked on the Great Wall of China and cuddled a panda on my lap and I’m still sad that I wasn’t allowed to keep him. I’ve scuba-dived in the crater of an underwater volcano and I know how to breathe fire. I’ve lived in England twice – once when I was a child (I came back to Australia to go to high school) and once when I was an adult. I lived in Korea for a year and taught English to children aged 2-12. Next on my list of places I want to visit is Antarctica. I would love to go diving under the ice in all that pale blueness.
I used to work in theatre and I worked on Disney’s The Lion King, The Full Monty and on numerous Shakespearean plays for The Bell Shakespeare Company. I also worked for a long time in events, and I’ve organised the NSW Heritage Festival for the National Trust, Clean Up Australia Day and dozens of other events! In England I worked for the Alzheimer’s Society and I wrote and edited the quarterly magazine for our major donors.
And here I am, 20 years after that end of year assembly. I’m not the queen of Egypt, I haven’t trained any dolphins yet, and I’m not quite Indiana Jones, but I still love writing stories, and I’m lucky enough to have been published, and I hope that you will love reading my books (without being forced to by royalty).