This month we welcome Sheryl Gwyther to Creative Kids Tales.
Sheryl Gwyther spent her adventurous childhood in far north Queensland, pulling teeth from old crocodile skulls (her uncle was a croc-shooter), investigating dead Taipan snake fangs in the local sawmill, swinging from vines while pretending to be Tarzan (never Jane) and eating unripened guava fruit. Thankfully, she survived all three.
A precocious reader by five, Sheryl discovered the gift of story. At ten, she found a spiral notebook and dipped her toes in the journalistic waters, pestering their local garbo and milkman for interviews. That lasted one day, but her love of storytelling grew alongside her curiosity about the natural world and her enthusiasm for making art. Ten years of travelling the world added to her store of experiences.
In fact, that curiosity inspired her first novel, Secrets of Eromanga. Years before on a school excursion she’d found a prehistoric mollusc in an outback gorge. An interest in Queensland’s paleo-history led to researching for her novel by volunteering on an outback dinosaur fossil dig.
During her time as an early childhood teacher, Sheryl made up stories for her charges and inspired little imaginations to do the same. She attended art school for several years, but it wasn’t until 2000 that she got serious about her writing. And when she did, it didn’t take long to be heard. By 2002, Sheryl had won an Australian Society of Author’s Mentorship. She would be awarded another mentorship again in 2009. In 2008, Sheryl was awarded a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowship.
In 2004, Sheryl’s dream came true when Lothian Books (now Hachette Australia) published her first book, Secrets of Eromanga. Hachette UK have converted this novel into an e-book as well for a whole new audience to enjoy.
Some of her other titles include chapter books, Princess Clown, Charlie and the Red Hot Chilli Pepper and her short horror story, Corn Dolly Dead in black dog books’ Short & Scary anthology. Her work appears in children’s magazines such as Explore and Comet, The School Magazine and overseas titles like the NZ’s Junior Journal and Irish children’s publication, The Looking Glass Magazine.
A passion for authors’ rights and Aussie children’s books ensured Sheryl took a leading role in 2009 against the parallel importation of books into Australia. In 2012, she became the Assistant Regional Advisor for the SCWBI Queensland, and is also on the Australian Society of Authors Board of Directors.
Sheryl lives in leafy Ashgrove, Brisbane with her husband, Ross. Aside from writing, she loves reading, hobnobbing with writerly friends, tackling her large, unruly sub-tropical garden, and continues to invent ways to stop butcherbirds attacking their three budgies, Tang, Blossom and Coco Paloma.
We hope you enjoy this month’s featured author, Sheryl Gwyther.
Read more about Sheryl.