Jackie French was born in Sydney and grew up in Brisbane, but moved to the bush in her early twenties. She now resides in New South Wales, near the small town of Braidwood. She began writing when she was 30, in a desperate attempt to get enough money together to register her car. At the time, she was living in a tin shed with a black snake named Gladys and a wombat named Smudge. A hundred and thirty-two books later, she is still writing.
Her career spans 20 years, 148 wombats, 36 languages, 3,721 bush rats, over 60 awards in Australia and overseas, mobs of possibly insane lyrebirds, "Burke's Backyard" TV segments, radio shows, newspaper and magazine columns, theories of pest and weed ecology and 27 shredded back doormats. The doormats are the victims of the wombats who require constant appeasement in the form of carrots, rolled oats and wombat nuts, which is one of the reasons for her prolific output: it pays the carrot bills.
Author's Comment: Q: Where is your favourite place to write?
A: My study. 20,000 books, 10 squares metres piled with paper, 5 square metres of free floor, two desks, both generations old, one hand carved family sized rocking horse made with wood from a fallen casaurina tree, 100 varied wombat statues (approximately), all gifts - I would never buy one - three walls of windows looking out at a creek, a wombat hole, an orchard of 800 fruit trees and about 272 kinds of fruit, a tangle of roses and salvias, 112 species of birds, a geranium-eating wallaby and, occasionally, my husband.