Kerenza: A New Australian

Author Hawke,Rosanne

Item Code 8356343

Product Type Book

Format Paperback

ISBN 9781742990606


  • Description
  • Details
  • About Author

Kerenza isn’t sure about leaving her village in Cornwall and taking a ship to Australia, but she can be brave for her da’s sake. Where he sees a farm, she and her mam see endless bush and flies — millions of them — and hard work from dawn to dusk.

It’s almost too much to bear, but the Mallee has its own beauty, and family and new-found friends might just make it her home.

Genre: Historical Fiction Reading Level: Upper Primary, Middle Primary School Year: Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6 Ages: 8 to 12 Page Count: 256
Rosanne Hawke

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

I was born in Penola, Sth Australia and now live near Kapunda, SA

Where did you go to school
Year1 at Penola Area School, SA
Year 1–7 at Banana State School, QLD. Most of that time was a one teacher school.
Year 8 Moura State High School, QLD
Year 9, 1st term Taperoo High School, SA (while my parents found a property to buy)
Year 9–12 Gawler High School, SA

Did you have a nickname?


What were you like in school?
Conscientious, worked hard, actually enjoyed learning stuff and was usually dux until Maths became too hard for me in Year 11. Then I switched to Arts which I wanted to do in the first place.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?

I only got the stick once at school along with everyone on our bus (which was a cattle truck with benches) for standing up and playing around. The teacher knew I probably wasn’t involved but had to give me a light whack since everyone else got one.

What was your favourite book growing up?

The Prince and the Pauper

Who is your favourite children’s author?

Kate DiCamillo but there are many.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?

Afghan kebabs/maroon/Pride and Prejudice.

Who inspired you to write?
My daughter, Lenore.

How did you get started?

Through storytelling and writing a story for my daughter.

How old were you?


Why did you want to be a writer?
Because I loved books as a child and wanted to pass that on. Actually, I don’t remember having a reason at the time, just that I ‘had’ to do it and felt truly alive when I did.

How do you think up ideas?
Ideas are everywhere, you just have to see them in pictures, newspapers, movies, music, inspiring stories of courage, etc.

Do you have a special place where you write?
I do have an underground room where my computer and books are. But I write draft by hand anywhere, on trains, even in bed.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
Writing that first draft and feeling like it’s working; seeing all that hard work being held affectionately in a child’s hand. Fanmail saying my book helped.

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer?

I had just told a group of children how I started being an author by writing my daughter a book of her own and a seven-year-old boy said, ‘Do you mean you are just somebody’s mum?’

What do you do when you are not writing?

Teaching writing at Tabor Adelaide, visiting schools, reading, walking, playing piano with the Celtic Daughters, playing with my little grandchildren.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer?

An archaeologist or librarian. I was a teacher before I was a writer.

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

James the 6th of Scotland/1st of England as, according to family folklore, he’s supposed to be my ancestor.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

I like cats and snow leopards. Purring is my favourite sound.

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