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I was raised in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne
(two parents, three sisters, assorted pets - great childhood) and, after failing matriculation in quite spectacular fashion, joined the RAAF at the age of seventeen. Blissfully unaware of how bad my hair looked, I enjoyed three wonderful years (what more can one say about an institution where the male-female ratio was about 500 - 1?) before leaving to complete a BA majoring in medieval history, which ably demonstrates how in touch I was with the local job market). At the same time I also joined the Army Reserves and spent part of the next fifteen years running around in camouflage gear whilst trying to master the intricacies of the M60 machine gun. In 1995, after enjoying (some more than others) a variety of jobs - I found myself back at university, this time completing first a teaching degree before deciding to focus on issues of gender, particularly violence against women. I completed my PhD in 2005, which led to a report on the long-term effects of DV on survivors. Oh, and along the way I managed to collect three children. Mine, not other people's.
That brings us to where I am now
; living in a rambling old house in the Dandenongs with whichever offspring happens to be in residence (they're like yo-yos), and assorted pets - none of which are actually mine. My grand plan, if I ever win tattslotto, is to leave them all with the house and move to a small, bookcase-lined, minimal-labour apartment in some cultural mecca. In the meantime, I shall continue what I’m doing now - squeezing public speaking around TAFE teaching for a few days per week and then writing for the remainder. And thoroughly enjoying all of it.
Next on the agenda is a foray into young adult fiction
(dystopian, no less!), a book about a woman who goes on a journey to discover her parentage, and also a couple more additions to the Nell Forrest murder mysteries - I have three more percolating in the deepest (and dustiest) recesses of my mind. All those who were fond of The Laundry Series may well recognise a few of the characters that pop into the fictional town of Majic and cross Nell's path. Also in the works is a book about the invisibility of middle-aged women, an anthology containing survivors’ own stories of domestic violence, and an increase in my forays into social commentary. It makes such a pleasant change to get instant feedback!
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