Where were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born at Brighton by the sea in South Australia and live now at Stonyfell among the gumtrees in the Adelaide foothills.Where did you go to school?
My first school was Hopetoun, a small private school in the Anglican church hall at Brighton, SA. From Grade 4 to early Year 10 I went to Presbyterian Ladies College, Pymble, NSW, and then after one unhappy term at another Hobart school, I spent Years 10 to 12 at The Friends’ School in Hobart, Tasmania. Did you have a nickname?
My friends called me Chris.What were you like in school?
I loved reading, writing, nature study and languages. I was a keen student.What is the naughtiest thing you did?
In Year 6, standing behind her as I cleaned the blackboard, I put locust shells in my class teacher’s hair while she sat at her desk calling the roll. She went to Assembly not knowing they were there until other teachers told her. What was your favourite book growing up?
Frank Dalby Davison’s Children of the Dark People
.Who is your favourite children’s author?
When I was a school librarian I used to love sharing the works of Dutch/American writer Meindert de Jong, especially his book The Wheel on the School
What is your favourite food/colour?
Fruit/green.Who inspired you to write? What
inspired me to write was the interest I had in observing nature in our garden and the nearby bush and walking home from school. How did you get started?
I wrote poems in the back of my mother’s recipe book and compiled a family magazine on an old typewriter we had been given.How old were you?
10Why did you want to be a writer?
I found I could say things I was too shy to express otherwise. It was a way of sharing feelings and thoughts.How do you think up ideas?
I don’t think them up. They come to me.Do you have a special place where you write?
I can write anywhere, but I do have a lovely study looking out onto our back garden and gum trees where koalas often sit. My computer is on a desk by the windows.What is the best thing about being a writer?
Reaching out and knowing that my books are touching lives somewhere in the world every day. Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer?
No, but plenty of warm, friendly happy moments and times with readers.What do you do when you are not writing?
I look after our house and my husband, answer letters and emails, speak in schools, libraries and other functions. I love gardening, bird watching, walking in the bush and at the beach, reading, listening to music, being with friends and family.
What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer?
I would love to have been a musician or a marine biologist.
Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?
Rudyard Kipling. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
My 53rd book will be published by Omnibus/Scholastic in March 2016. It is Forward March
, about Anzac Day. I always attend the Anzac march with my husband who was an RAAF pilot in World War 2, and whose story I wrote in Battle Order 204.
Although I deplore war and its terrible consequences on innocent people, I admire the courage of the men and women who fight for peace and freedom. Website/blog details