|Carol Ann Martin writes . . .
I can’t remember a time when my head wasn’t filled with stories. They were there long before I was old enough to write them down. When we were very small, my sister and I shared a bedroom, and I used to keep us both awake by telling stories far into the night.
When I did eventually learn to write, albeit illegibly, I filled pages and pages with stories and poems, which only I could read. At age six I wrote a Christmas poem about the Three Wise Men arriving in Bethlehem, which one of my schoolteachers managed to decipher, and which she sent to a teachers’ journal. That was my defining moment. I was a published author and I was hooked.
Nobody told me that it would be thirty years before I would be published again. In the meantime I had married, emigrated from England to Australia and had three daughters. I was also working as a children’s book editor for a Sydney publishing house. My head was still buzzing with stories, but editing seemed a less precarious way of earning a living than writing.
Then one of our authors turned temperamental and quit halfway through a series she was writing for us. This left us with a big gap in our program. While I was desperately casting a round for a replacement author, the senior editor calmly suggested, “Why don’t you do it yourself?” So I did. And I’ve been doing it ever since; writing for children and loving it.
I have worked as a writer and editor for various publishers in Sydney and in Perth, but in 1990 my husband Paul and I moved to southern Tasmania. Here we are close to our family, especially our grandchildren. Everyone is close in a small country town. I now work entirely as a freelance and my most recent books have been a series of four Dulcie and Dud stories for Omnibus.
The stories are set in the fictitious country town of Waddygong, which could be anywhere in rural Australia. The ever-optimistic and irrepressible Dulcie and her more introverted, but utterly faithful, friend Dud are a couple of eight-year-olds experiencing all the pleasures and frustrations of a close-knit community, with its arts festivals, agricultural shows, dumb plays, big parties and all the other delights of country living. This is a place that I know and these are children that I know. I hope that many young readers will enjoy knowing them too.