I grew up in Brisbane, Australia. Reading has always been one of my favourite things to do and, as a child, making up my own stories was a natural progression. I didn’t write them down, because they were just for myself. I was a shy child. Creating characters and worlds for them was my way to be brave. I held story-telling sessions with my stuffed toys all sitting in a circle around me. Later, my mother encouraged (forced) me to take a speech and drama class to help build my confidence. I will be forever grateful to her for that.
As a primary school teacher, I used stories as a base for the units of work I planned for my students. I think stories are an easy way for children to engage with, and form understandings of, the world around them.
When I retired from classroom teaching, I began to write my stories down. It was as though the time was right to be writing. The ideas were there and I had to let them escape from my brain and sort themselves out on paper.
My characters are average kids. They do not have any special powers. They do not live in any fantasy worlds. They are like the kids I grew up with, the kids I teach, the kids who live in my street.
My main character, Taya, is the adventurous little girl that I wanted to be. She has the adventures that I dreamed of having. She is a child who wonders about things and likes to figure out puzzles. She can be a scaredy-cat and she can be amazingly brave. She has a best friend, Chris, who teases her and occasionally tries to curb her enthusiasm, but who is always there to back her up when things become difficult.
They are likeable kids with whom young readers can easily identify.
Who wouldn’t want to be out and about solving mysteries and having adventures?