When did you first start writing?
I guess you could say I started when I was abour ten, with the good reception of my first composition. See: A Bit about Beginnings in my Author Profile for the story of how my father helped me - and probably changed the course of my life by doing so, bless him.
Read more of this interview.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I was a child, my Australian-born Irish mother made up dialogue for all our pets, dialogue for every occasion. I think she got it from her mother - all the siblings in that large family did this. The cats talked, the dogs talked. I grew up making up dialogue for my own pets, and really, it wasn't much of a leap to go on from there.
I wanted to tackle the serious subject of poverty in a novel, but I didn't want it to be a heavy, Grapes of Wrath kind of thing. That's when I remembered the dialoguing animals I grew up with. I wanted to make the subject palatable to the general reader without compromising its integrity - it's all in the Preface, actually.