I have been writing and illustrating books since my first picture book, Jessica’s Box, came out in 2008. I was a primary school teacher before that (and for a while after), teaching in Clermont and Bundaberg.
Jessica’s Box was shortlisted in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the CBCA Crichton Award for Emerging Illustrators. This was motivation enough to make more books, including Last Tree in the City, The Children Who Loved Books and Blue Whale Blues. There are quite a few more and you can check them out on the Picture Books and Novels pages.
I’ve also worked with other authors and illustrators, including Pat Flynn on My Totally Awesome Story, and Damon Young on the Ninja Nanna picture book series. I also illustrated the Mr Darcy series for author Alex Field.
My books have been shortlisted for many awards, and I’ve even managed to win a few. Blue Whale Blues was awarded the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award in 2016 and My Sister is a Superhero (written by Damon Young) won an Australian Book Industry Award in 2017. My novel, The Elephant, won the Children’s Book Award at the Queensland Literary Awards in 2018.
Sometimes other creative people do wonderful things with my books. Artslink produced Sarah’s Heavy Heart as a beautiful stage show (music, dance, and a really big beanbag heart) and they also teamed up with Dead Puppet Society to turn Last Tree in the City into an amazing puppet show. In 2017, the Toowoomba Concert Orchestra presented The Great Expedition as a concert, featuring music, illustrations and me reading the story.
In 2018, the Sunshine Coast Council installed a story seat at Russell Family Park in Montville on the Sunshine Coast, based on The Children Who Loved Books. This book, along with Jessica’s Box, has also appeared on ABC TV’s Playschool. That’s right! Playschool!
If you speak a language other than English, you may still be able to read my books. They have been translated into many languages, such as German, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, Slovenian, Arabic, Italian and more.
After making picture books for a while, my thoughts are drifting to novels as well, and my first novel, The Elephant, came out in 2017. It’s about a girl called Olive, and an unwelcome elephant that nobody else can see.
My home is in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, just around the corner from a beautiful rainforest and waterfall. I live here with my wife, two daughters, a dog called Florence and a cat named Harry Potter. I’m still getting used to the cat.