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The Life of Maggie Akhurst

I was born in Tasmania, Australia and have moved around the country for most of my life, spending most of my childhood years in the Northern Territory on remote Indigenous communities.

There wasn’t much to do in those places – no cinemas, no fast food outlets, no shopping centres (no shops at all really) – so my two younger sisters and I had to rely on our imaginations to liven things up. We had great adventures and many, many imaginary friends, not to mention strange and wonderful creatures for companions, such as dragons and fairies!

My teenage years were spent mostly in southeast Queensland, near Brisbane. There is so much more to do in a city than in the middle of nowhere! I got involved in a junior theatre group, I went to the cinema for the first time, and I discovered shopping.

But all of this new entertainment did little to slow my imagination. I would still dream up imaginary friends (and imaginary boyfriends that usually had a cool power of some sort!) and have amazing adventures with them.

During my high school years, I did my schooling through Distance Education (which means I stayed at home and did my school work). That worked out really well for me because I could get it all done in a few hours and have the rest of the day free, which I then spent writing or dreaming up new plots and characters. I am an introvert so the lack of school friends didn’t really bother me too much – besides, I had my imaginary companions!

I also love doing creative stuff with my hands, and on days that I didn’t feel like writing, I would draw or make clay models of items from whatever story I was working on.

After I completed year 12, I did a student exchange to Belgium. It was one of the most amazing years of my life. I learned French, made new friends, travelled to France, Spain and England, gathered heaps of ideas for my writing and fell in love with Belgian chocolate – seriously, the stuff they have over there puts all other chocolate to shame… I couldn’t eat Cadbury’s for months when I got back!

When I reluctantly returned to Australia, I had to find a job. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but unfortunately, writing doesn’t pay the bills straight away – especially if you’re a bit of a procrastinator like me.

Eventually, I decided to try out being a chef, mainly because it seemed like a job that could take you practically anywhere in the world and I love to travel. The fact that I love to eat didn’t hurt either.

Turns out that being a chef isn’t the greatest job in the world (and let’s face it, there really only is one great job in the world – writing!), but it did take me overseas during my apprenticeship. I spent four glorious months in Finland on a cooking scholarship, then spent another month after that travelling with my boyfriend around Europe. We went to France (where my boyfriend proposed!), Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. My boyfriend (now my wonderful husband) and I both agreed that the place we liked most was Switzerland. The scenery was amazing.

Some of my favourite things: I love anime, webcomics, inspirational quotes, playing video games, board games, a lot of TV shows (Doctor Who is my absolute favourite but also Castle, Bones and a heap more!), too many amazing indie authors to count, and epic music.

Fulfilling my love of travelling, I’m currently living in the UK with my husband. We live unconventionally on a narrowboat, cruising around on the British canals and exploring the countryside. During my free time, I write my stories and talk to my imaginary friends!

So that’s me, and probably more than you ever wanted or needed to know about me! I’m an optimist, dreamer, traveller and writer!

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