My first published book, Stolen, was also influenced by my life and the things I did. Thankfully, I’ve never been kidnapped, but when I was nine years old and moving from Wales to Australia, it felt like a bit of a kidnapping. Suddenly I was in a new country I didn’t understand; a place that was simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. I’ve always been fascinated by wild Australian land and, when younger, my favourite memories are of camping in the bush and exploring the overgrown creek at the back of our first Melbourne house. But this landscape scared me too, and I didn’t feel like I fitted in. I used these feelings of being simultaneously entranced and repulsed by something in order to write Gemma’s feelings for both Ty and the landscape he takes her to.
My third novel for Chicken House is The Killing Woods. This is a novel about darkness, and about how close we can all come to dark places, and spaces, at any time. The plot is about a teenage girl called Ashlee Parker, who is found dead in the woods one night, and finding out what happened to her. The narrative is told from the perspectives of Emily, whose Dad is accused of the murder of Ashlee Parker, and Damon, who was Ashlee’s boyfriend and the last person to see her alive.
In between writing, and talking about writing, and teaching writing, I do lots of other things! I have completed a Creative Writing PhD, which focuses on my creative relationship with Australian land. I spend a lot of time riding a grumpy chestnut mare called Topaz, my favourite country to visit is South Africa, and one thing I’ve never done but always wanted to is go in a hot air balloon. Oh, and camels make me smile.
I am represented in the UK by Greene And Heaton Literary Agency, and published by Chicken House. In the United States and Australia, I am published by Scholastic. For a full list of where my books have been published and by who, please visit the Chicken House website on www.doublecluck.com