Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, but grew up mainly in South-East Asia. As a young adult she spent three years in China studying traditional brush and ink painting in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Now Sally lives in Melbourne, where she writes and illustrates for children of all ages. She has published over forty children's books; many of them award winning, including two novels for young adults. Her most recent books include the popular 'Billie B Brown' and 'Hey Jack!' series. Sally is a regular fixture at Writing Festivals and Workshops across Australia and overseas. She also teaches Writing for Children at RMIT University, is a mentor for the Australian Society of Authors and is one of the Victorian Premier's Reading Challenge Ambassadors.
Author's Comment: Q: You're very well known in Australia now, as both a writer and illustrator, but you started as an illustrator. Did you think you would end up writing as much as you do?
A: Actually, my first books, 'Speak Chinese, Fang Fang!' and 'Fang Fang's Chinese New Year,' I both wrote and illustrated - though it may seem as if I am more known as an illustrator because I won the 'Children's Book Council Crichton Award' for illustration back in 1997. From there, I continued writing and illustrating my own books until I was asked to illustrate a novel for Di Bates called 'The Shape'. After that more publishers began to approach me with illustrating work. Nowadays, the illustration work comes to me, whereas the writing work is mainly up to me to instigate. However, I think in terms of output, they're probably pretty even.