I’ve got a chequered past, basically. I’ve done a lot of things, but the common thread in all of them is stories, I think. So when I left high school, I made a choice that only an adolescent could. I became an actor, and did that for about 12, 13, almost 14 years I think, which was – the impulse I think within that was to tell stories. But I didn’t enjoy not making up the stories. I ultimately felt like a bit of a puppet. So I started painting as an antidote to that and I started exhibiting paintings, but then there was something missing from that, and again, I realised it was ‘story’. And then a light bulb went off and I put my paintings with stories and started writing picture books and suddenly everything made sense. That’s been the journey. I’ve done other things as well. I worked as a writer in advertising for a couple of years and all that stuff, but predominantly, when I found picture books, I found what I am meant to be doing I think. What made me want to be a writer and want to make up stories was informed pretty heavily by the way I grew up, because I moved around a lot. I moved around a lot in regional areas and I was artsy, and that’s not a great way to be necessarily unless you’re just into the footy, and I loved movies. My way of escaping when I would be always at a new school, didn’t know anybody, would be either books – I would hide in the library and read ‘Tin Tin’ or whatever – and movies. I loved being able to disappear into another world. So that has been there since I was tiny, five or six or something, and it’s been the most consistently driving force within me I think, as an adult and as a child. So it ultimately – nothing else makes any sense to me as in terms of a job, other than making up stuff
and telling stories.