"I started when I was about seven, trying to write a story just like Enid Blyton (I read her books avidly!). Where that first ‘novel’ disappeared to is anybody’s guess," she says.
"However, about 15 years ago I moved to a small acreage and decided to join the ‘Willing Workers on Organic Farms’ network so that I could get help as I live alone. I soon discovered that the young people who came to work for board and lodging were visitors from all over the globe. Their knowledge of Australia, its animals and environment, and the huge distances involved in a sparsely populated country, was pitiful. Writing some books to help educate children from other countries was born.
"My interest in writing has been life long, and in my working life I had been a teacher of English, Social Studies and Music in High Schools in Australia. Now I am a grandmother, and retired. I decided to get serious about putting all the knowledge I have acquired during my life into writing books about Australia. The Internet, which I had to learn, gave me a powerful tool to send the information all over the world.
"As I wrote, I decided also to make the books enjoyable, with a message as well as projects for schools in the back of them to further any research that might be required. Out of that desire came the series ‘Alphabet Animals of Australia’ for young children."
Maureen now has six published in the format of ‘real’ picture books. Both ebooks and hardcopies are available for three of them on her website. This spurred her on to create another series for slightly older children called 'The Fairies of Aurora Village’ .
Maureen is presently writing Book 2, another adventure following these elves and fairies.
"I was inspired to write about fairies and elves as my grandchildren went to a Steiner School in the area, and the parents were complaining that books these days had so much violence in them," she said.
"There was a general feeling that they would have liked more books that would help their children use their imaginations without being bombarded with so much negativity.
"When I write, the story flows from my subconscious – so how I come up with the ideas is hard to explain."
Recently, Maureen registered for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) - an annual (November) novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world - and completed a novel in the month. It's an adult contemporary novel called ‘Tarnished Gems’.
"This was completely out of my comfort zone," she says, "and I have used a pen name (Marguerite Wellbourne) so that children don’t pick up this book by mistake, thinking it is child-friendly!"
You can find Broken Wing here
and to learn more about Maureen and her work, click here
You'll be surprised just what you can achieve!