It has taken sixty-eight years to discover a kind of emptiness if I am not in a creative process of some kind ... writing, music, painting, gardening, sewing, it doesn’t matter much which, but what I still haven’t learnt is how to switch it off when there’s housework or mending to be done....
I was born in war ravaged England, grew up with a father who studied spiders and a mother who painted beautifully and who could create anything with her hands. I was consequently blessed to always have a pencil in my hand and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing or writing.
Equally blessed, with a friend I travelled to Australia in 1964 and met my husband on Lake Eyre while cooking for Donald Campbell and his team. Ian and I were married in 1965 and took up new land in Jerdacuttup, near Hopetoun on the south coast of Western Australia.
It was a writing workshop with Society of Women Writers WA tutors Carmel Cotterell and Ethel Webb which really sparked off a serious attempt at writing. I owe them a great deal. Since then I’ve helped to put various books together, local history, biography, poetry and prose. In 2000 CBH contracted me to edit a book for them, Legends of the Grain Game. This took two years of interviewing employees old and new, writing their stories, gathering photographs and designing the 400 page hardback. It was a great experience meeting many wonderful people and preserving their stories for ever.
Together with my friends in the writers’ group, Southern Scribes, we have published five books:
And The Dingoes Howled – local history and biography
Land Song - poetry
Sea Sirens - poetry
Sky Larks - poetry
Wildflower Country - poetry
Having self published ‘Pie’ last December and been utterly astonished by children’s response to it, I feel perhaps there are not enough children’s books about Australian country life. We have enjoyed some marvellous animal characters on the farm and a story about one of our horses will be published in November 2011. I am also working on a collection of stories about islands I have visited.
I can be contacted at email@example.com