I had a Saladas and Vegemite, Get Smart, white concrete footpath, gum tree childhood in Melbourne. There never seemed to be very much to do, other than read and draw. I grew up in a shag pile, plate glass The Ice Storm sort of house.
We weren’t allowed to have a dog.
Every year on my birthday my mother made Chocolate Ripple ‘cake’. No baking involved. It tasted like biscuit sogged up with sherry, and cream. Because that’s what it was made of. I hated it, and told her so. But she never remembered.
Can you tell I’m a middle child? Poor me!
I was very shy.
On Saturday mornings we went to the library. This was excellent, because I needed to read lots and lots of books to find out how normal people lived.
I soon realised that normal is a dodgy concept.
I moved out of home during my first year at university. It was an era of no money, buying everything from op shops and lots more reading. I started a combined Arts/Law degree at Melbourne University, but stopped Law after a year and finished the Arts degree part time, while I worked part time.
Before I had children I worked in marketing, and then in arts management. One of the projects I cooked up was putting poems on billboards at railway stations.
I’ve always written, but I only turned it into a job so I could work at home and spend time with my children. Why did I wait so long? I began with freelance journalism. An interview I did with a film producer led to writing PR material for film and television. When my younger child started school, I started studying screenwriting at RMIT. This soon led to scriptwriting work. For ten years I wrote for lots of TV programs. Go here to read about tv.
My first book, Six Impossible Things, is published by Pan Macmillan. I was thrilled when it was shortlisted for the CBCA’s Book of the Year 2011, Older Readers.
My new book ‘Wildlife’ will be out next year.