About Toni

I was born in Beenleigh, a sprawling township huddled in the shadow of the Gold Coast. The district produces delicious meat pies, marvellous rum, and fabulous authors. The offspring of a plumber and a boot maker, I left Beenleigh at the age of two, however, and haven’t been back since. I also turned my back on a life of wrenches and shoe lasts to spend ten years teaching Art and English in Queensland secondary schools, before becoming a mother of four, including a set of twins. I am passionate about fostering children’s creativity and imagination and instilling in them a love of stories and language.

Now living in an old Queenslander on the river in Ipswich, I draw inspiration for my children’s novels from the surrounding wildlife and the escapades of local children. When I’m not writing children’s books, I enjoy researching local history. My book about Greek cafes has proved very popular, and I am now finished my PHD at the University of Queensland. It’s about lollies, and will soon become the very first book about Australian lollies, so feel free to let me know about the ones you remember from your childhood – Choo Choo Bars, Aniseed Balls, Fantales, Jaffas – and what you did with them. 

I am eternally grateful for shoes, by the way.

And plumbing.