I've been reading books and writing stories for as long as I can remember. It was inevitable that I would become a librarian. I worked in the National Library, Birkdale College Library, Unitec Library and the Auckland College of Education Library. But it wasn't long before I realised I wanted to write books for young people.
My first published short story was The Budgie Man in the School Journal in 1982. This was followed by six more stories published in the School Journal, as well as three stories for teenagers (published in Charlie magazine), and numerous short stories for adults.
Invitations came to review children's books for Magpies magazine and for Jo Noble's Well Read magazine. Around the same time I built the first version of Story-Go-Round in order to recommend top-quality books and authors to teachers and parents.
One of the first mentorships organised by the New Zealand Society of Authors came my way, and my chosen mentor was Tessa Duder. After much work with Tessa, and with assistance from the Ray Richards Literary Agency, my first YA novel was published by Longacre Press in 2004 - called Cross Tides. This won the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards Best First Book Award in 2005.
Nine more books were published with Longacre, Penguin, Scholastic, and Walker Books (visit my Books page to find out about them). I was also joint editor of an anthology of short stories called Out Of the Deep And Other Stories from New Zealand and the Pacific (published in 2007 by Reed/Storylines).
Nowadays I don’t write much, though I’d still love to have a picture book published. I have retired from school visits and course tutoring – but I still belong to a local writers’ critique group who won’t let me stop writing completely ...