Author Emily Rodda - also known as Jennifer Rowe (her real name) - was born in Sydney, in 1948. She grew up with two younger brothers,
and graduated from the University of Sydney in 1973 with an MA (Hons) in English Literature. Always an avid reader, she moved naturally into a career in publishing, first as a book editor, and finally as a publisher at Angus & Robertson. Emily Rodda's first book, Something Special
, was published in 1984, and she has been a full-time writer since 1994. Since then she has become one of the most successful, prolific and versatile writers in Australia, and been Winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year (Younger Readers) Award a record five times. An important influence on her writing was the world of the media. Her father was a TV executive, and she grew up with "the ratings" and a great respect for the demands of the marketplace. She acknowledges the need for escapist books as well as those that are more literary. Her four children, including twin boys, have given her plenty of inspiration over the years.
I feel very lucky to have a job I love so much. None of the characters in my books are exactly like anyone I know, but all of them have things in common with people I know. Everyone writes from his or her own experience. I look at people I know and listen to them and when I am trying to think of a new character, these things come back to me.