I was born in 1975 on the Isle of Man and spent my childhood there, in Sudan, in Papua New Guinea and in Australia. I did lots of my daydreaming in planes, trains and boats including one boat that my dad made with a glass base so my little sister and I could see fish and coral going past underneath us. For a little while I had a mouse and the best present my mum and dad ever gave me (apart from my sister) was my own piano.
My favourite books were the Milly-Molly-Mandy stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley, the Magic Faraway Tree stories by Enid Blyton, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and the Ramona stories by Beverly Cleary. Though I love returning to those stories (especially Wind in the Willows) these days my favourites are anything by bell hooks or Adam Phillips.
I live in Melbourne near a river and as well as writing books for children I teach sociology at a university, make dolls, nests and the occasional skirt, go to lots of markets and have cups of tea with my friends. I don’t spend quite as much time on planes, trains and boats these days, but I do like to bound up and down mountains whenever I find a spare moment. And I still have that same piano.