My pitch for Stella Duke and the Sandgirl's Curse (a middle grade fantasy novel about a twelve-year old witch and her three best friends) has made the shortlist for Just Write For Kid's 2019 Pitch It! competition. You can read the complete shortlist here.
I’ve been a professional writer and editor for 15 years and I’ve always been a greedy reader, but it took me a long time to have a crack at writing fiction. I dibbled here and dabbled there, before finally diving into the deep end. In 2019, I signed up for the How to Write for Children and Young Adults program with the Australian Writers’ Centre, started workshopping and found a critique partner, and joined Writing NSW. Now, I’m working on a few projects in various stages of development.
Who I am as a reader goes a long way to explaining who I want to be as an author—and as a reader, I look for big, sweeping stories with lots of heart. Also, magic.
I fell in love with fantasy fiction way, way before fantasy was cool. I'd say it started with The Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, but really gained speed when I turned 13 and discovered David Eddings’ The Belgariad. Twenty years later, my bookshelves groan with the words of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb, Sara Douglass, Jennifer Fallon, Fiona McIntosh, J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Soman Chainani, Eoin Colfer, Jessica Townsend, Ursula Vernon, Nnedi Okorafor, Chris Colfer… and on it goes.
My other favourite books are most often women's fiction: stories about women, by women, for women. Give me Liane Moriarty, Marian Keyes, Chandler Baker, Jodi Picoult, Gail Honeyman, Kaneana May, Joanna Nell, Sophie Green… and anyone else you've got! My copies of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women and A Room of One’s Own are love-worn and dog-eared, and I have a neat selection of carefully curated autobiographies written by inspirational (and predominantly Australian) women.
So, what about my fiction? I like to think of the stories I write as the wordy love children of my literary affairs – with hefty doses of girl power thrown into the mix.
For children and young adults (who am I kidding? These stories are for everyone), there’s magical hijinks, dark power and an overload of best-friend feels in my middle grade fantasy series Stella Duke. My YA fantasy trilogy (Untitled) is an epic adventure that’ll please genre diehards, set against a landscape of magical-political war and three girls’ determined search for power, connection and identity.
I’m also working on two commercial fiction manuscripts. The first I’m calling a cross between What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and August: Osage County. The second (working title The Reunions) tells the intertwined stories of four thirty-something women searching for satisfaction in life and in love, at work and at home. When they reconnect at their high school reunion, it triggers a series of events that reveals the truth—and consequences—of pursuing their desires.
If any of these sound like your type of book, yay! Thank you so much, and can we be friends? But also, please check this page regularly to keep up-to-date about the projects I’m working on, including status updates, writing milestones, author insights and lucrative publishing deals. (What? It could happen.)
After that, swing past my blog. There I tell you more about why words mean so much to me and talk to inspiring women writers who honour their joy, one word at a time. (I also have big plans to lust over new books, revisit some old faves and drool over pretty stationery because, you know… stationery.)
If you're so inclined, you can also sign up to my newsletter to stay in the loop about all the stories I'm reading, writing and sharing at home and here on my website. And there’s always social media—you can find me on Twitter and Instagram.