What I Write
Granny McFlitter: A Country Yarn illustrated by Lael Chisholm and published by Penguin Random House New Zealand in March 2019.
Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter
Illustrated by Lael Chisholm and published by Penguin Random House New Zealand in March 2018.
I wrote a short story, 'Chemistry on our side', which was included in Great Mates, an anthology of short stories edited by Barbara Else, illustrated by Philip Webb and published by Random House New Zealand in 2011.
The story is based on an annual sand-castle building competition run at the beach we camped at each summer when our children were young.
Sunshine Starters Series
This year Tom the School Cat (level 10), Nutty Knitting (level 10) and How Much Rain? (level 11) were published by Sunshine Books NZ.
Click on the pictures to find out more.
I have also written non-fiction articles for Pearson Education Australia's Comet, Explore and Challenge magazines.
I have written articles about learning to ride a bike, learning to swim, how maps are made, and how cows were milked in the olden days. I wrote about some castaways who stitched their trousers together to make a small boat so they could escape a desolate sub-Antarctic island. I even got to interview a fairy princess and a US pilot who flies planes into hurricanes!
I love the huge variety of things that authors for educational books can write about.
How I Write
I love to write. It gives me joy. If I couldn't write down the ideas in my head, I would feel I was missing a part of me.
I write my ideas in notebooks so I don’t forget them. Sometimes I write ideas on the back of envelopes or supermarket receipts if a notebook isn't handy.
I keep paper and a pencil beside me at night in case I have a writing idea while I’m sleeping. Once I woke up in the night and there was no paper and no pencil. I walked down the hall into the dark kitchen. I knew there was paper and a pencil on the table. I wrote my ideas down and went back to sleep. In the morning I woke up to find I hadn’t written on the paper at all – I had written all over the tablecloth, and I couldn’t understand any of it!
I like to write my first drafts on paper. Some authors type their stories straight onto the computer, but I prefer playing with words and sounds on a page with a pen first.
As you can see from the very first notes I wrote about Granny McFlitter, the writing process can get messy!