I began my professional life as a registered nurse. In 1985, I moved to Hainan Island, China, where I worked for three and a half years in occupational health and also helped teach English to various colleges and institutions in my spare time. In 2007, I completed a BA in English (Hons 1) and in 2013 a PhD in Creative Writing, focussing on steampunk. My aim now is to keep writing science fiction and fantasy. I am also a graduate of Clarion West 2008 and from 2010 to mid 2012 I was a Steering Committee member and editorial consultant for Trove, an online journal of creative writing from The University of Western Australia.
I also blog with my novel-writing group at Egoboo WA.
I have enjoyed writing since the age of ten when I began keeping journals. At first I wrote only short accurate accounts of day-to-day experiences, but later indulged in the exploration of alternative scenarios, playing with language to make them feel real and alive.
Although the idea of writing fiction has always appealed to me, it was not until 1997 that I was able to sit down long enough to attempt writing anything resembling a structured piece of work. To my amazement, my first completed short story, ‘Seas of Change’, was Highly Commended in the inaugural Katharine Susannah Prichard Science Fiction and Fantasy Award (1998), and was subsequently published in 2000 in Eidolon 29/30 edited by Jeremy Byrne.
As a reader, I have always been passionate about books, so much so, that I have no idea what’s on television. (Well…okay, I always know when Dr Who is on). At ten, I discovered science fiction through the works of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and John Wyndham and then fantasy through J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Although I also enjoy reading literary fiction, speculative fiction is my preferred genre for the way it creates different worlds and different ways of seeing by drawing on the past, the future and the unconscious. For me, speculative fiction is not so much an escape as an awakening.