About Me

brother kellyMy upbringing was idyllic. Our family had a farm at Matangi, outside of Hamilton, in the Waikato. Our farm comprised about 60 acres, and my father ran mostly cattle, and raised thoroughbred horses. My brother and I both learned to ride on a pony Dad got for that purpose.

We had a swimming pool, with a dolphin made of tiles on the bottom. With the dry, hot Waikato summers, it was a lifesaver. My mother kept a large vegetable garden, and we also had donkeys. We used to get 'Sunday day trippers' stopping at the fence on the main road to talk to our donkeys. In those days, donkeys were a rare sight in New Zealand.

donkeysMy family, on both sides, were country people. On my mother's side, they were Irish, while my father's side hailed originally from England.

From an early age I wanted to be a writer. My very first stories were published on the children's page of the NZ Herald. As a teenager, I used to subscribe to Islands and Landfall, and fell in love with literary fiction.

nedAfter leaving school, I didn't really know what to do with myself, so tried a variety of things. There was a stint in London as a waitress. A time spent being a freelance photographer, with my own dark room and Haselblad camera. Another period when I worked for a newspaper reading company called Chong's Media Bureau.

gabeMy daughter was born in 1987, and as I was based at home, I was able to start concentrating on my writing. I began with short stories – being short, they are an excellent way to learn one's craft. Eventually, I won an award for one of my stories.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to receive fellowships because of my writing: Buddle Findlay Sargesonmonty Fellowship, Auckland during 1999, the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers’ Residency (2000-01), and the University of Waikato Writer-In-Residence in 2005.

I live in Taupo with my partner and our dog Monty.