Although I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I always liked to pretend I was in the country by hiding out by the tiny creek behind my house. Many worlds were invented there. I never, however, expected to write about them. I became a science geek, completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and then came to the awkward realisation that I didn’t actually want to do research in a lab for the rest of my life. So I found work in the finance industry. Story-writing wasn’t even a consideration until the day I had a Supermum moment and gave my teenage daughter a lecture that went something like ‘of course you are capable of writing a story. Never think that you need to be naturally gifted at something to give it a go. Here, I’ll give you a hand. We’ll write one together.’ Addictions can begin so innocently sometimes…

 

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I was once asked what sorts of books inspired me as a child:

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The treasured book.

Ten year old girl. Local church fete. Tattered book with a picture of a white horse on the cover. I paid my hard-whined-for fifty cents, and a whole new world opened up to me. I’d read books before, of course, but nothing like Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby’s Daughter. It had everything. Talking horses. Australian setting. Drama, thrills, equine romance…did I mention talking horses? Before long I was poring over maps of the Snowy Mountains, trying, of course, to find that elusive Hidden Valley. I learnt to trot silently through the bush (aka the overgrown garden bed near the compost heap), treading only on rocks so as not to leave any tell-tale hoof prints that could be followed by unfriendly young stallions, or worse…men! Yes, I eventually wore my parents down and they let me join Pony Club, and yes, I eventually conned my boyfriend into coming on a 3 day riding (and for him, sneezing) adventure in the Snowy Mountains (and he still married me), and yes, I eventually decided that although I will never, ever be able to match the brilliant writing of Elyne Mitchell, I was going to have fun trying anyway.