The early days
Mischief-making with her twin sister
Busy writing age 9
Bushfire reporting at Sussex Inlet, 2000
Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, 2002
Winter & Mollie
Pixel the 3-legged Pygymy Bearded Dragon
Sammy the Stimson's Python
Kristin has always loved words and stories, and feels lucky to have been writing as a career for more than 25 years!
Born into a book-loving family, Kristin was always making up stories with her identical twin sister. They’d spend hours creating wild adventures for their Smurfs or Star Wars figurines. But it was in Grade 3, her passion for writing really took off. She wrote a poem that made her teacher laugh and cry and she discovered first-hand how powerful words could be.
Kristin admits she’s not a rule breaker, which could explain why her favourite stories are all about pushing boundaries and adventure. She especially loves books in which characters discover they can be so much more than they ever imagined! While it is hard to choose, some of her favourites are Peter Pan, the Narnia series, Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree, Anne MacCaffrey’s Dragon Riders series and Watership Down. Kristin also loves courageous characters. Her favourite is Jo March from Little Women.
After a few false starts with study, Kristin finished a Diploma of Journalism and started working as a 24-hour news producer for the Australian News Channel. That led to a reporting role in Canberra and a stint writing for a weekend sports show, before she went back to producing live and breaking news for the Seven Network. In 2012, she began working for Sunrise, but she’ll never reveal who the Cash Cow really is!
Taking breaks from work, Kristin did find the courage to go on her own adventures, working as a ski instructor in Australia, Canada (where she knocked out one of her front teeth) and the United States. She’s also explored castles and ancient forests in her ancestral home of Latvia, the cobbled streets of Bruges, Amsterdam’s canals, and travelled across India from the western desert to the forests in the north, where she came face to face with a tiger.
As well as writing new stories, Kristin works as the Program Manager for the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation, is President of the CBCA NSW Branch Northern Sydney Sub-Branch and a member of SCWBI.
Where do you live?
I live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with my husband, two daughters, three step-kids (when they are in town), two dogs, pet snake and three-legged pygmy bearded dragon (who definitely needs her own book one day!).
Where and when were you born?
Sydney Australia on 31 July 1973.
I get to share my birthday every year with my identical twin sister. Her name is Rachel!
Where do you write?
I like to write in different places, but my favourite is at my little corner desk, hidden behind my big bookcase and surrounded by all my favourite things (including lots of Mickey Mouse, Marvel and Star Wars toys!)
Why do you love books?
I think it’s because of my mum. She loved reading and had a bookcase so tall you needed a ladder to reach the top. There were so many books, but we would also visit our public library every, single week. I still have my library card from 1976! Either my mum or my dad would also read to us at night. I still love discovering amazing new stories.
What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
I’m not a risk taker, but being silly is one of my favourite things (mind you I’m terrible at telling jokes!) I think perhaps the silliest thing I have done was when I was a little girl – around 6 or 7 years old. My sister and I thought our parents told us we were going on a boat. We were so excited. We hopped in the car and drove to a … polling booth, so they could cast their vote in the Federal Election. Then it hit us. Our parents hadn’t said we were going on a boat… they’d told us they were going to VOTE! We both promptly burst into tears.
What were your highlights as a journalist?
I met so many incredible people working as a journalist. I covered natural disasters, court and crime stories and witnessed history in the making, but it is the people who stayed with me. Many of them were just like you and I, but being forced to deal with extraordinary things. My top three, were meeting a zoo-keeper that had successfully bred white tiger cubs at Mogo Zoo, being there to see Steven Bradbury and Alisa Camplin win Gold for Australia at the 2002 Winter Olympics and meeting martial arts legend Jackie Chan!
Do you have a favourite saying or motto?
My favourite saying is a quote by Walt Disney – “Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional”. Perhaps that’s why I love writing for kids so much. It gives me permission to think like a kid, every single day!
What is something not many people know about you?
While I was working as a journalist, I did a Law Degree. I had it in my head that I wanted to make a difference by working for the United Nations. I decided making kids smile by writing stories was a much better idea in the end. I also love collecting anything to do with Mickey Mouse … and coffee cups (the sillier the better).
If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?
That’s tough! Characters are my favourite part of any story, so if I have to choose one superpower it would be the power to enter the books I love, meet the characters, and be part of the story.
What are your top three writing tips for kids?
- Read lots, write lots, and don’t give up. We all have stories to tell and the world will never have enough stories.
- Don’t forget to make trouble for your character.
- Write with other people. You don’t have to do it all alone. Creating or working on stories with friends is one of my favourite things to do.
What are you working on now?
Being FIFA Women’s World Cup year in Australia and NZ, I’m spending lots of time travelling around talking with kids and enjoying all the ‘Football Fever’ in the air. Now I’ve finished all four books in the Football Fever series, I am also exploring some exciting new stories and characters, plus I’ve been working on a Young Adult novel with a writing friend. Watch this space!Download Headshot