Growing a love of reading
Growing up in Rotorua, I lived with my family in the last house at the very edge of the town. There was a farm over the back fence. There were lots of trees on the farm. I liked to take a book and an apple and climb a tree. Once I’d settled on a comfy branch, I read and read and read.
When I was a little bit older, I learned to ride horses. Sometimes I took a book and two apples (one for me and the other for the horse) and rode to a quiet spot. I sat on my horse and read and read and read while he gobbled up grass from the roadside.
Learning a love of writing
The first time I thought about being an author was at intermediate school. My whole class wrote stories and carefully printed out our words in our best hand-writing. (This was a looooong time before computers and printers!) We drew colourful pictures to go with our stories. We tied our little books up with coloured wool.
My book was called, ‘Flip-Flop to the Rescue’. It was about a frog who didn’t like swimming.
We all walked to the primary school next-door and read our stories to the younger children. They loved Flip-Flop! It was such a wonderful feeling, knowing the children enjoyed what I had written. I wondered if I could be an author one day.
Encouraged by a good friend, I completed a correspondence course on writing for children. I started to send off some stories and non-fiction articles. Slowly but surely, some of them were accepted by publishers.
As well as writing, I have the best job in the world - I work at the local primary school in a new entrants’ classroom. We have lots of fun reading stories, telling stories and writing stories.
Sharing a love of reading
A lot of time has passed since then.
I went to university. My major research interests were natural hazards and disasters. I worked for a while as a resource management planner – I loved researching environmental issues and writing about them.
Now I live in Auckland, New Zealand, with my husband and two teenage children, and one small tabby cat named Katie.
I loved reading books with my children when they were little. I remembered Flip-Flop, and wondered if I might be able to write books for children.