Many of Sue’s poems, articles, and short stories have appeared in children’s magazines, and her books have featured in the Premier’s Reading Challenge. Sue lives in Sydney with her husband, three children, and a scruffy white dog.
Some writers are born, others don’t discover they are writers until later in life.
Sue Walker is one of those people who has ‘always been a writer.
As a child I kept a journal and I loved writing letters to friends, but it wasn’t until I had children and was reintroduced to children’s books, that I started taking writing seriously.
Initially I was drawn to picture books because of their combination of rhythmic language and beautiful illustrations. They’re still my focus, but I’ve written chapter books, non-fiction, and more recently, a junior novel.
Sue’s favourite books as a child were ones about children who went on exciting adventures. She has been on many adventures herself including climbing the world’s highest mountain and diving in the ocean with sharks. But Sue says,
The most exciting thing I’ve ever done is writing stories for children.
Like many writers, Sue had a number of jobs before she became an author. She says her first job was horrid, working at a cemetery, making labels to put on boxes of ashes.
Little snippets of my own childhood seem to have found their way into Arnie’s story. An important scene at the pool came from my past, but I don’t want to give too much away.
Sue spent some time in Malaysia as a child and went to preschool on the edge of a jungle. At lunch time she used to watch the monkeys swinging in the trees. Later, when the family moved to Goulburn in NSW she spent a lot of time exploring the bush with her brother and sister and their dog, Mitzie. Clearly she has always been a writer and an adventurer at heart.
On Wednesday, Sue is coming back to Kids’ Book Capers to talk about her new junior fiction novel Arnie Avery. She’ll talk about the inspiration behind her book and what she enjoyed most about writing it.