I found my way to writing books quite late in life and I do blame a mid life crisis on the sudden shift in careers from the travel industry into becoming a full time author. But while it’s been a zig-zag path to writing, I think I’ve always been headed toward it and now feel I’ve found my place.
I was very fortunate that my first attempt to write a novel got me noticed by the biggest publisher of the fantasy genre in Australia. Voyager offered me a three-book contract and I am still writing fantasy novels for HarperCollins that I’m delighted say sell worldwide. I read crime through choice and so it seemed the logical place to turn when I was looking to diversify. And then children’s fantasy was always going to happen for me.
The catalyst that made this whole writing thing happen was Bryce Courtenay and his summer fiction writing course that he held in Hobart every two years. And so it seems fitting that the novel I have always wanted to write but until recently haven’t felt equipped to do so is a big family style saga along the lines that Bryce is known for. The result is that in 2010 my first saga – set in the 1920s – was released by Penguin. I think the floodgates have opened…now I want to write more of these big books and regularly.
The next of these sagas will be released in April 2012 and from there on I hope to write one of these each year and the plan now is to juggle all of these genres. I say if you like my fantasy, you’ll probably enjoy the saga novels because the same hallmarks are there in the storytelling and writing style no matter what genre. And when you need a break from the epic stories of fantasy and historical saga, there is no better indulgence than a good crime. The children’s books – well they’re for everyone and simply something I had to do.
I am traveling constantly for books these days, either researching or attending events for publishers and readers, so my life really has come full circle as my globetrotting days are as active as ever. When I’m not on the move I live in South Australia with my very patient husband and our twin sons. Sharing our lives are a bossy mini foxy terrier and a very barmy border colie.
I don’t have much time for hobbies but my passion is cooking – especially baking – so any spare time is spent in the kitchen…or I’m happy to lose myself in movies. They are both wonderful escapes. I have recently become addicted to making my own coffee with a manual machine and so there’s a lot of ritual and pleasure to coffee making in our household now. I’m always trying new roasts, fiddling with the grind, perfecting the stretching and frothing of milk. It’s fun and I love the end result.
I won’t even begin to discuss my chocolate addiction…but I am seeking help for it!