Where I come from

I grew up on a dairy farm in Taranaki. I grew up with four brothers and a sister. At one stage we had ten cats and my mother used to feed them on left-over food. They were particularly fond of porridge.

My mother was a great story-teller and she was also a writer. She read to us every night before we went to bed and so I grew up with stories from books and stories from my mother’s imagination. Dad also told us stories of what life was like for him when he was a kid. I liked the story about him taking the velvet trousers that he hated out to the woodshed and chopping them up with the axe.


Me not in a photo mood!                                                            The kids, the cats and the parents


I went to Norfolk Road Primary School which is where my father had gone. After that I went to Inglewood High and then to university in Wellington. I met my husband at Teachers’ College in Christchurch and we went to teach in Hamilton. I moved from there after he died in 1998. Our two daughters are now grown up and living overseas.

I started writing when my daughters were babies and I wrote stories for the radio. Some of these got published and then I started writing longer books.

Why I like writing

I like it because it’s fun. I can make up my own world and fill it with people I create from my own imagination. I get to do things through my characters that I’d never be able to do in real life — like being in a rally-car, skateboarding, riding a motor-bike or going back in history (that book is called A New Song in the Land  and is set at the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed).

Things I like to do

I like hanging out with friends. I love reading. In the summer I like swimming in the sea. I like travelling and talking to the people I meet along the way.

Me on the Amazon River