See Mary's latest book release - Lennie's Ride
Hey! Tracey! What are you doing here? You've got your own Tracey McBean page! This one's mine!
** Introducing you Mary! You invented me by writing 'Tracey McBean's Stretching Machine' but I'm the one who's now a TV star and famous! **
Tracey's page is fun but before you look I'll tell you a little bit about myself.
I grew up in England in Plymouth a city famous for its seafarers particularly Sir Francis Drake. Because of the big naval dockyard the city was badly bombed during the German air raids in WW2. Our home wasn't damaged but the wail of the air raid sirens and the noise of the anti-aircraft guns was scary. (Disaster and Survival published by Rigby Heinemann 1994 features my story.)
I started writing and trying to illustrate my own books when I was seven, but I was grown up before my first book A Bear in my Bedroom was published in Australia in 1976.
Six year old Andrew living in England travels through a magic tunnel to Australia with his toy koala in search of adventure. When I was a kid growing up in England I thought it would be a great idea to dig a really deep hole through to Australia with my own toy koala.
Published 1976 by Carroll's Pty. Ltd. WA. Illustrated by Ingrid Van Dyk
I love all animals especially horses and although I did learn to ride at a riding school I pestered my parents for a horse of my own. This was impossible as we lived in a city so I kept an imaginary horse called 'Ginger' in the garden shed. That was his stable and we went everywhere together. Just shows what imagination can do!
I trained to be a Speech Therapist in London then in 1962 emigrated by ship to Australia as a '£10 Pom' (about $20). It's the best value for money I've ever spent. The voyage took four weeks via the Suez Canal. Do you know how long it took the eleven ships of the First Fleet to arrive in Australia and by which sea route they came? I was once asked at a school if I had come out on the First Fleet. I'm not that old!
Since 1962 all travels in Australia and the places I've lived in have influenced my writing particularly with ideas. In 1964 my friend Beth and I drove around Australia in a VW 'Beetle' car. Some feat in those days! We slept in the car! I've lived in Melbourne, Perth, Launceston, and now Sydney.
You will see from my published books pages that I've included in italics what triggered my ideas for the stories. Over the years, like many other authors (some of them famous) I've had numbers of rejections from publishers but have kept on trying. Don't accept "No" from a publisher. Just rethink your story and try again!
Many of my books are now out of print but you'll find some of them in libraries.