BRIEFLYI'm an Australian author of 29 novels, mainly fantasy. They include the bestselling Three Worlds epic fantasy sequence, which has sold over a million print copies and has been published in 11 countries. It comprises The View from the Mirror quartet, The Well of Echoes quartet and The Song... show more
BRIEFLYI'm an Australian author of 29 novels, mainly fantasy. They include the bestselling Three Worlds epic fantasy sequence, which has sold over a million print copies and has been published in 11 countries. It comprises The View from the Mirror quartet, The Well of Echoes quartet and The Song of the Tears trilogy. I'm currently writing the long-awaited sequel to The View from the Mirror, which will be published worldwide by Hachette from late 2015.WHY I WRITEFunny thing is, I never wanted to be a writer. From an early age I wanted to be a scientist. I'm an expert in pollution and I've spent much of my working life studying it in far-flung places like Mauritius, Sumatra, Mongolia, South Korea, the Philippines, Papua-New Guinea and Western Samoa, as well as all over Australia. Often scuba diving to the bottom of festering harbours and hammering tubes deep into the polluted mud to collect samples for chemical analysis. Now that's living!I was a small, quiet kid who devoured books from the moment I learned to read. When I was naughty, Mum wouldn't let me read anything for a week - talk about a cruel and unusual punishment. I discovered fantasy in the early 70's, with The Lord of the Rings and the Earthsea trilogy, and was immediately hooked. But there wasn't much fantasy available in those days; within a couple of years I'd read everything available. I wanted more and bigger tales, on vaster canvases, but they didn't exist back then. That's why I had to become a writer - to write the kind of stories I wanted to read. Twenty-seven years later I still love being a storyteller. it's the best job of all.I'm also fascinated by the art of storytelling and have spent a huge amount of time studying it and writing articles about various aspects of writing and publishing. WHAT I WRITEI've never wanted to write about superheroes or huge, reckless warriors who know no fear. I write epic fantasy about underdogs and ordinary people who, in pursuit of their goals, are put to the limit of human endurance. My characters aren't fantasy stereotypes, they're real people with believable motivations and unfortunate flaws. I'm well known for strong female characters who have as many adventures as the men, and frequently get them out of trouble (I have five sisters). My characters are often small or clumsy or inexperienced or handicapped in some way, yet they make up for it with cleverness, ingenuity or sheer, low cunning. My antagonists are real, complex people who do bad things for strong and deeply-held reasons - never 'just because they're evil'.Though my characters suffer every kind of torment imaginable, at their lowest point they discover the truest form of courage - they keep fighting because the fate of the people they care for, and the world they love, depends on them never giving up.If there's a message behind my work, it's about the triumph of the human spirit. When the great names of the world let us down, ordinary frail people must step up to fill the gap - and discover that, with selfless courage and utter determination, they can change the world.I'm passionate about justice and I like to see it done. Most of my villains meet an ironically appropriate fate in the end, though their end can be a long time coming. My put-upon heroes generally achieve a kind of peace, and some of their goals, though they rarely get everything they ache for.