Born in New Zealand, Justin D'Ath is one of twelve children. He came to Australia in 1971 to study for missionary priesthood but after three years, left the seminary in the dead of night and spent two years roaming Australia on a motorbike! Whilst doing that he began his writing career contributing pieces for motorbike magazines. He published his first novel for adults in 1989 and this was followed by numerous award-winning short stories, also for adults. Justin has worked in a sugar mill, on a cattle station, in a mine, on an island, in a laboratory, built cars, picked fruit, driven forklifts and taught writing for twelve years. He wrote his first children's book in 1996 and to date he has published 31 books. He has two children, two grandchildren, and one dog.
Q: What inspired you to become an author?
A: Books! Ever since I learned to read I REALLY loved books. So I started writing my own (they were comic books) when I was nine years old. Then I tried writing a novel when I was eleven or twelve, but I gave up after about 30 pages. But it didn't put me off reading and writing, and in the back of my mind I decided I'd try writing more books when I was an adult. And that's what happened! I'm really lucky because what started as a hobby when I was a child became my job as an adult.
New Zealander / Australian