Anna Branford was born in 1975 on the Isle of Man and spent her childhood there, in Sudan, in Papua New Guinea and in Australia. She did lots of my daydreaming in planes, trains and boats including one boat that her father made with a glass base so she and her little sister could see fish and coral going past underneath. For a little while Anna had a pet mouse and the best present her parents ever gave her (apart from her sister) was her own piano.
Anna's favourite books were the Milly-Molly-Mandy stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley, the Magic Faraway Tree stories by Enid Blyton, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and the Ramona stories by Beverly Cleary. Though she loves returning to those stories (especially Wind in the Willows) these days her favourites are anything by Alain de Botton or Anthony Storr.
Anna lives in Melbourne near a river and as well as writing books for children she teaches sociology at a university, makes dolls, nests and the occasional skirt, goes to lots of markets and has cups of tea with her friends. She likes travelling and still triess to do as much daydreaming as possible on planes, trains and boats.
What inspired you to write for children?
An easy answer is that I know lots of incredibly interesting children who give me all kinds of inspiring ideas. Another easy answer is that I loved reading as a child and wanted very much to contribute something back to the field of children’s literature. But the most truthful answer is that the kinds of ideas I most like thinking and writing about (small things, for example) seem to fit best within the genre of children’s books.