I was born in Young, a small town in south western NSW in 1950. After a few years we moved to Glen Innes, on the northern tablelands and then when I was ten we moved out west to Dubbo. We moved because my father was a schoolteacher and each change meant a promotion for him.
There were six children in the family. I was number three and there wasn't a lot of money. We didn't have television and of course there was no such thing as a computer.
Books and reading were hugely important. I remember going to the library on a Saturday morning and borrowing five or six books and reading them all by Sunday night.
When I finished High School I studied at the University of Sydney. I had a great time studying mainly history but also getting involved in lots of things happening at the University and the city. It was the time of the anti-Vietnam war protests and the rise of the Women's Movement.
I taught for two years in a small town, Picton, which is just outside of Sydney. I really enjoyed that time but I wanted to travel and in 1976 I headed off for five years. I based myself first in Italy where I taught English and then in London where I started writing my first novel, Eleanor, Elizabeth. I attended a creative writing group where the other students pushed me to write a better book. In London I also met my husband. We came back to Sydney in 1980. We've got three daughters.
When we first came back I taught at the University of NSW but now I write full-time. I've written more than forty books and I've also taught occasional courses in creative writing and I've visited lots of schools to talk about my work.
I write picture books, novels for young kids and also novels for slightly older readers. I've written three books about writing and also a small amount of writing for television: Bananas in Pyjamas and Magic Mountain.
The writer's life is pretty good. It's a job where you work for yourself, in your daggy track suit, at times that suit you. What more could you ask for?