jennifer mcbride and lynda nixon

Children's Authors and the Home of 'Shimmer'

About Jennifer

McBride 2 for website cropped

My name is Jennifer McBride.  I was born in Northam, Western Australia, but grew up in Armadale, which at that time was a semi-rural town on the outskirts of Perth.

I have always loved reading, writing and watching movies, but by far my greatest pleasure was having a spellbinding novel to lose myself in.  I would try to have a book constantly on the go and would read it at every opportunity, sometimes devouring entire novels in a day and then feeling disappointed that I had finished it so quickly.  I didn’t have much money to buy books with, and I recall always plotting ahead to work out where I might get my next great read from.  After I had depleted the limited stocks at the school library, I joined the local town library, and I would often jump on my bike on a Saturday afternoon and ride into town to see what wonderful gem I could unearth in their musty shelves.

Occasionally, when I had run out of books to read, I would try to write my own and I kept a large file in my room of the various outlines and opening chapters of the stories I had started to write.

TV shows and movies also featured strongly in my childhood.  One of the outings I loved most growing up was when our family would go to the drive-in theatre, where I can remember sitting in the back seat of the car in my pyjamas watching fabulous movies like Bambi and The Jungle Book.

For me the saddest part of any movie or book was when it came to an end, as it always did much too soon.  So the most exciting thing about watching a television series was that the stories never really finished.  The characters simply never ran out of adventures, and it seemed that no matter how many times you watched an episode, there was always another exciting episode coming soon!  I loved those many afternoons when I would sit riveted in front of the TV after school watching exciting programs like Lost in Space, I Dream of Jeannie, H.R. PufnStuf, Bewitched, Rin Tin Tin and Skippy.

When I was 14 I won a scholarship to attend Hartill-Underwood Commercial College, after which I spent the next 10 years working as a legal secretary, at first for private law firms, and then later in the legal departments of Hamersley Iron and Parry Corporation.

After my first daughter was born I worked from home for a couple of years running my own word processing service.  Then when my second daughter came along I decided to return to study as a mature age student.  After attending Curtin University part time for two years studying towards a BA (Asian Studies), I accepted a position as an Executive Assistant at Curtin University where I worked for five years in both the School of Languages and Intercultural Education and in the Faculty of Media, Society and Culture.  It was during this time that my sister, Lynda, talked me into joining her and a group of others who were entering a competition called Write a Book in a Day.  This is an annual event run by the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writing Centre and raises money for the children’s hospital.  This was an amazing experience, and we all had a wonderful time coming together early in the morning and spending the entire day planning, writing and illustrating a children’s novel.  The time pressure was exhausting but it was hilarious fun writing our individual chapters without having much of an idea what was going to happen in the chapters either before or after them!

It was after entering this competition that Lynda and I decided to try writing a children’s novel together.  Writing alone can be a fairly solitary experience and after enjoying the fun and excitement of brainstorming and writing with a group of others we felt inspired to see if we could come up with something that would combine our ideas but still satisfy our individual need to write.  Co-authoring Shimmer ticked both these boxes for us.

Meet Phoebe

Meet Phoebe

The road to success has certainly been a long one, and we were very fortunate to have received the fabulous support of Fremantle Press.  But it truly is an amazing feeling to have finally become a published children’s author.

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