Teaching English in secondary schools has been my job for close on 17 years. I love reading and studying literature with students and inspiring them to connect with their own creativity.
I took a year off teaching in 2019 and worked as a bookseller at a local independent bookshop.
I first starting working with people who were experiencing homelessness when I was 17, volunteering at a place that provided food and support for those living on the streets.
I have a Masters in Writing and Literature. It was academic study but it didn’t feel like it as I was already head and shoulders deep in the subject matter.
For something different, I’m currently studying Bibliotherapy through Warwick University
‘The wild side unleashed from behind a mask’, my essay exploring the physical and metaphorical role of the mask, was published September 1st 2020 in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Brisbane Times. You can read it here.
My opinion piece ‘Why I stopped teaching and why I’m going back’ was published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald at the end of 2019. You can read it here.
Like Charlotte Bronte who said, ‘I’m just going to write because I cannot help it,’ I also write propelled by something ‘other’, that’s then combined with hard work, determination and commitment to the craft.
I love books. Stories. Tales. Adventures. Those that are ‘true’, those that aren’t. I like them with magic and a bit of a dark and gloomy twist, but then I also like them sunny, in beautiful lands with interesting creatures. I like them with fancy dresses, castles and country manors and I REALLY like them with creepy houses, ghosts and stinking cobbled lanes. I like them set now, I like them set back then and I like them set somewhere else altogether. Defining the essence of a really, really good story is just a bit tricky. But you know it when you’ve read it.
Influences of mine continue to be Phillipa Pearce, Penelope Lively, Ruth Park and Joan Aiken. Throw in Dickens, Wilkie Collins and the Brontes. Combine with Daphne du Maurier, Laura Purcell, Jessie Burton and Susanna Clarke. Sprinkle with Leon Garfield, C.S Lewis and the inevitable Tolkien. And finally top off with Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That’s just the beginning…
I have travelled extensively in the UK and the landscape, history, architecture and atmosphere always inspire me. It’s a country steeped in stories; old and new ones tangled together. Australia has its own history which I’m equally fascinated with. I’m intrigued by the similarities, differences and connection between the two countries.
I’m a member of Writers Victoria, Sisters in Crime and HNSA (Historical Novel Society of Australia)