The Personal Stuff
What has a figure skater, gypsy, gem fossicker, backpacker, dancer, secretary, grape picker, shepherdess, nanny, teacher, mother and wife all have in common? Me! I’ve been all these things…
- A national figure skating competitor with my brother from when I was ten until thirteen years old.
- After that we moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia and travelled around in a caravan for several years. We fossicked for gemstones and fished in every river in the outback (well, it felt like that – Dad was mad keen on fishing).
- I left school when I was sixteen; and worked in an office for three years.
- I swapped the typewriter for a backpack and travelled to the U.K. After a trip around Europe, I became a nanny in England then Greece. I also had a stint as a grape picker and shepherdess in Israel before climbing the pyramids in Egypt. On the way home I called into India and traveled from Kashmir to the bottom of India sometimes on an elephant, train, camel, bus or plane.
- The travel fever hadn’t left after that trip so after a short break home I travelled back to the U.K. and worked until I saved enough for a trip to China. No one spoke English in China in 1984 so I used a travel guide to help me get from Beijing to Guilen.
- When I came back home this time I decided to change my career – I went to University and Teachers College and trained to be a teacher.
- After teaching for several years, I took time off to have two children. I had Tristan and Rhiannon with my husband Rod Gill.
- We swapped the city for a life style block in 2003 and share it with 5 sheep, 4 ducks, 1 cat, 1 dog, 2 guinea fowl, a dozen chickens and 1 rooster.
- When my daughter turned three years old, I put my lifetime dream to write a book into action and began writing courses on how to write for children. In 2004, I had a book and two short stories accepted. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to have 1-3 books published every year since. I now write children’s books for the trade and educational markets, take on freelance writing contracts, and give workshops and attend school visits full-time.
- Ran ‘Kiwi Write4Kidz’ – a writers group for adults who write children’s books – for 11 years.
- Lorraine Orman and I review children’s books by New Zealand authors – Kids BooksNZ
- In 2016 we sold our lifestyle property and moved to a seaside village.