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Meg McKinlay

I live in the absolute best place in the world (for me!) - just outside the coastal city of Fremantle, Western Australia. It's a beautiful place with gorgeous weather and beaches and bush and far too many distractions for an easily distracted writer! Some of my favorite things are swimming, riding my bike, and pottering about in my garden. I've always loved writing but didn't plan on becoming a writer. I'm more a scribbler of fragments than a natural storyteller and never thought of writing as a job you could decide on and head towards. But I knew I wanted to be around books, so I studied English and Literature for as long as I possibly could, then went on to teach at a university. After my daughter was born, I started reading to her, and remembered how much I loved children's books. Stories started growing in my head and eventually I wondered if it would be worth trying to write them down. Approximately five years, twelve manuscripts, and 127 (-ish!) rejections later, my first book was published. I like to write all sorts of things - from poetry to picture books to middle-grade novels and beyond. From time to time, people tell me I should choose one area and settle down and to that I say, "Nonsense!" I started writing because I love the directions words and ideas pull me in, and if I don't let them lead, I suspect the fun will go out of it fairly quickly. A story for me rarely begins with a plot idea – it usually starts with an image or a little spark that grabs my attention and won't let go and I then have to work out how to use that in a story. Maybe it's a painting of a rhinoceros in a boat; maybe it's a demanding-looking duck appearing on my doorstep one morning. Whatever it is, I usually start writing with very little idea of where the story is going to take me; I'm not much of a planner and just have to trust that it will unroll ahead of me into a road I can keep walking down to the end. Luckily, this seems to be working okay so far!

Website links:

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