I live in Canberra (Australia’s capital) and have been surviving winters here since 2012. Survive is the operative word because I’m a born and bred Queenslander (the sultry tropics). While The Hub, our two Barbarians and schnoodle fur-child have adjusted to the cooler climate, my maroon* blood pines for the heat of the north.

Over the years I’ve worked as a milkman, insect researcher, environmental scientist at a mine, road construction auditor, childcare worker, journal editor and teacher. I also do my best to squeeze in volunteer work, play clarinet in a community concert band, geocache and scrapbook. Plus a day doesn’t go by where I don’t read at least a few pages of a book.

The one consistent thing I’ve done throughout my whole career is write. I think my love of writing was cemented when a story I wrote (my own version of a Trixie Belden adventure) won a prize at the local show when I was 11 years old. I’m still as passionate about writing now as I was then.

* The “State of Origin” series is an annual best-of-three rugby league football match series between two state representative sides, the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons (also known as the cockroaches and cane toads… it’s an Aussie thing).