In those days I also wanted to be a famous ballerina and my plan was to write novels in the dressing room at the theatre between performances.
Guess what I didn't do! That's right, the ballerina dream didn't come true. The author dream did and I've been writing poems, stories and books for kids of all ages since I became a mum. While reading picture books to my little boy, I decided, "This looks like fun. I could do this." And I did.
At first I didn't find publishers for my children's books so I became a journalist and wrote stories for newspapers and magazines. Here I'm doing a phone interview to get information to write a news report.
I enjoyed working as a journalist because it gave me the chance to meets lots of interesting people and ask them questions about their lives.
Writing for newspapers and magazines also taught me some important skills that helped me to write better books and stories for children. The most important skill was how to edit my own work.
I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Books opened a window into exciting worlds of imagination for me and from the time I was just a kid in primary school I knew that I wanted to be a writer.
My first "office" when I started seriously writing stories was the dressing table in my bedroom. As soon as I sold enough stories I bought a roll-top desk with pigeon holes for envelopes, stapler and all sorts of other bits and pieces. The pull-down section could be locked when I wasn't working, which was a great idea because it was in a corner of the kitchen and my kids used to borrow my things and forget to return them. You'll notice I wrote on a typewriter in those days. I was pleased to move on to computers ... but I still use the desk when I'm editing stories or getting them ready to send to publishers.
After I'd worked as a news reporter for a while I learnt how to lay out and edit publications. As a newspaper editor, my job was to make sure the journalists' stories were well written and included all the necessary information. Then I decided where the pictures and stories would go on each page and wrote the headlines.
At the time the above picture was taken we didn't use a computer the way we do now. I had to use maths to work out how much space each story would take on the page and how big the photo should be. The stories were printed out in columns and pasted onto the pages. Now it's all done on screen using special programs.