Catherine Jinks was born in Brisbane in 1963 and grew up in Sydney and Papua New Guinea. She studied medieval history at university and her love of reading led her to become a writer. Her books for children, teenagers and adults have been published to wide acclaim all over the world, and have won numerous awards. Catherine's most recent titles include the City of Orphans series the bestselling Evil Genius series and her paranormal spoofs, The Reformed Vampire Support Group and The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group. Catherine lives in the Blue Mountains in NSW with her husband, journalist Peter Dockrill, and their daughter Hannah.
When did you start writing?
'I started when I was about eight years old. My first 'book' was a picture book called I Want to be a Jungle Girl. I sent my first 'novel' to a publisher when I was twelve (it was turned down, needless to say).'
What was the biggest inspiration for you to become a writer?
'Probably my mother. She always had her head in a book, and she was always reading to my brothers and me while we ate dinner. She's a very imaginative, creative person who encouraged us to read - and if you like reading books, you generally end up wanting to write them.'
What was your favourite book as a child?
'I didn't have a favourite book as a child. I liked the Narnia books, The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson, Josh by Ivan Southall, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie... lots of books.'
What is your proudest moment?
'I don't know. I suppose I was proud of winning the Victorian Premier's Award, or the CBC award twice in a row, but I have to confess I felt prouder when I cooked my first lamb roast. It's hard to say.'
What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
'The best thing is making money out of something that's so much fun. The worst thing is editing. Once I've finished a book, I want it to go away and never come back - but it does, again and again. I hate that.'
Where do you do your writing?
'At a nice, antique desk beside a window at the front of my house, from which point I can see all the tradesmen, visitors etc coming and going. It's distracting but I can't afford to miss the arrival of a plumber, when we need one.'
Did you enjoy school and what was your favourite subject?
'I didn't enjoy primary school much because my family moved around all the time. I enjoyed high school because I made some really, really good friends there. I liked English when it was all about writing stories and putting on plays, but when we started concentrating on essays for exams in the last two years, I lost my fondness for it. Art I always enjoyed, as long as we weren't doing pots or macramé.'