I grew up in that wonderfully wild place called Australia, surrounded by its strange creatures. And I don't mean my sisters and brother.
(Or maybe I do.)
This is me, cuddling a Koala in my first ever Akubra hat. And here is my hometown – BUNDABERG – where the Great Barrier Reef begins. My dad used to take me out to the reef on a boat built by my grandpa. As I snorkelled over the coral gardens my heart would leap into my throat. They were some of the most exhilarating moments of my life.
After training as a journalist and starting my career in communications, I started to feel a bit... bored. So, when I was 24, I left Australia with a camera in my pocket and a heart full of adventure, determined to see more of this big blue marble. I bussed across Europe, tearfully clambered over the Swiss Alps and got a bit lost in Transylvania (I’ve never been very good at reading a map).
The adventures soon became more daring, as I trekked through the Madagascan rainforest, coming face-to-face with the incredibly rare aye aye lemur in the night. The camera jammed. . . and my guide never forgave me. I sweated across the tinder-dry grasslands of the Masai Mara where I was chased by a herd of elephants. And in the best kind of adventure. . . I eloped on a beach in Mauritius with my husband Russell. We sailed into the sunset, with a whole wedding cake for ourselves.
Today, I write heart-thumping children's non-fiction and picture books from my home in England’s Chiltern Hills, where I live with Russell and our two wild things. Here in our overgrown garden, just beyond the vegetable patch, a barn owl likes to sit on the fence. In the huge shaggy fir tree red kites call across the countryside pee-ooooooo. And now and then, a very clever jackdaw pops by for lunch. It’s a wonderful reminder that although the big wide world holds great, daring adventures, there are just as many wonders waiting outside your window.
Read more about me and a few of my adventures over on the blog!