About Me

I grew up on the slopes of Mount Wellington in Hobart, which is the capital city of the beautiful Australian island state of Tasmania. We had a menagerie of amazing animals including a couple of peacocks, a pair of mad guinea fowl called Aunt Aggie and Aunt Flo and two Anglo-Nubian goats called Rastas and Ishmael. We had a creek at the bottom of the garden which was covered in willows and blackberry bushes, which even had a real wild platypus, although as I was the only one who saw it, it was called “Sarah’s platypus” in that way which means nobody believed me!

I began writing stories and poems when I was about seven years old, just for fun. I would read them to my family and my dog, then stash them away in a pink plastic bag and forget about them. I would write for my own pleasure at the weekends, and on holidays, right up till I was an adult, and I haven’t really stopped since, although ten years working as a medical lawyer in London did get in the way a bit! In between times, I played the Scottish bagpipes, worked on a production line in a Brisbane flour factory and answered the phones in a psychiatric hospital in South East London.

For years and years, becoming a published writer was just a dream for me, but when my husband and I moved to Hong Kong in 1998, I started writing a funny column for a local parenting magazine. Then the publisher asked if I had any children’s stories, and I dug out A Dirty Story from my pink plastic bag, and it was published that year. I was so excited about my first book that I drove around town with it displayed in the back window of my car for ages! This was followed by An Even Dirtier Story one year later, and my career as a children’s author began.

Then in November 2007, I decided to take the plunge into the publishing business, setting up my own company Auspicious Times Limited, which has now published The Tale of Run Run Rat,The Tale of Oswald Ox, The Tale of Temujin, The Tale of Rhonda Rabbit, The Tale of Chester Choi, The Tale of Sybil Snake, The Tale of A Dark Horse, The Tale of Rodney Ram, The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey,  and my very latest book, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster!  And to explain how the animals line up in the Chinese Zodiac (not to mention how two pandas got to Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland), there’s my companion book to the Chinese Calendar Tales, The Tale of Pin Yin Panda. You can find out more about them and how to buy your own copies at www.sarah-brennan.com on the Kids Books page.

And in June 2017, my first book with Australian publishers, Allen and Unwin, was released! Storm Whale, a picture book exquisitely illustrated by award-winning artist Jane Tanner, is based on my childhood seaside holidays in northern Tasmania with my sisters, my brother, my Mum and my Dad, and my life-long love for whales, which we often used to find stranded on the shore. We’re getting fabulous reviews – just scroll down my home page to read some!

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  1. I am wanting to know who will win the clever competitions

    • Hi Mio – the winners will be the kids who write the best ten poems in the two age groups! So send in your entry right away!

    • Hello,
      Our school in Yuen Long Hong Kong would love to have you come and do your magical readings with us this April 2011. Please contact us if possible: amoreshaudagoins@yahoo.com or 852 82082092 , Lutehran Academy School.

      Thank You Very Much

      • Thanks so much Amoreshauda – will do! Sarah

  2. Wow! Your life was and is packed! I come from Melbourne, Victoria in Australia but right now I an living in Shanghai, China and I was wondering If you could have a competition on the Best Autobiography!
    I think it could be a really interesting competition because we can find out what is happening all over the world.

    Thanks,
    Jasmine

    • Hi Jasmine – sorry for being so slow replying – I’ve been soooo busy lately! I think that’s Best Autobiography is a great idea! I’ll put it on my list and let you know when we’ll run that competition! Make sure you enter my latest competition, to be announced very shortly!

  3. Dear Sarah Brennan

    I wonder when is your birth date because Iam doing a poster about you and I want to know.

    Best Regards
    Walter

    • Hmmm….a lady NEVER reveals her age, so all I can tell you is that I was born some time during the latter half of the 20th Century – I hope that helps!!!!

  4. I also want to know your age or when you are born .
    I have a home work that is a poster about you !
    I hope you can sign it when you come to my school (renaissance college ) on 22nd of march !

    Jasmeena

  5. I also need to know when you are born… We are all in the same class, me Jasmeena and Walter. I really need your help!!!

    Mio (5JK, Renaissance College)

    • Ohhhhhh really so it is homework !!

    • Oookay….I give in!!! I was born in…

      (7 x 7 x [(8 x 5 x 5 x 2) – 11 – (4896/17)] x 2 x (7 x 11 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2)/(8 x 7) x 5 x 2)/(101 x 2 x 11 x 2) x 112/(4 x 7)

      and that’s all I’ll say!

      • I finally got ya age! Yippee!Yay!:)

      • Well done Hillary – now don’t go telling anyone else or Chester Choi will come and eat you up!

      • WOW! That’s a complicated sum!

      • Yep! It’s meant to be!

      • I got your age!

      • Well you’re a smart cookie! Keep it a secret though, or my hungry dragon will pay you a visit :)!

  6. Please our home work will not be succesful without your birthday !!

    Jasmeena

  7. i am looking forward to the next poem competition !

    Jasmeena

    • Me too! I’ll post the next competition on my blog within the next week.

  8. I will do anything for that information !!

    • Oookay….I give in!!! I was born in…

      (7 x 7 x [(8 x 5 x 5 x 2) – 11 – (4896/17)] x 2 x (7 x 11 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2)/(8 x 7) x 5 x 2)/(101 x 2 x 11 x 2) x 112/(4 x 7)

      and that’s all I’ll say!

      • That is so hard to work out !!!

      • You didn’t think I was going to make it easy did you???

      • please tell me your age please !!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Sarah You might find this weird but i have a crush on a boy in my class !! He is just so cute !!!

    • Crushes are just fine and make life interesting! But keep on reading too – that’s what makes YOU interesting!

  10. I love you sarah brennan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    • Well with a comment like that I love you too!!!!!

      • Really walter i will ask you tomorrow !!!

  11. Dear Sarah Brennan,

    I’m a G.6 student in CAIS, HK and I think you know my school librarian, Mr. McEntire very well. I hope you are better now, and I hope I’ll see in May.

    My ELA teacher, Mrs Johnson told us about the haiku competitions, but it has make some of my classmates sad because they are over 12 now! Mrs. J told them to still send you a e-mail, so I hope you won’t have a big shock by looking at your e-mails number. I and my classmates would kindly ask you can you add a new group to the competitions for the people above 12 because a lot of them write fantastic poems and them just enjoy to write them!

    Thank you for reading this long reply!

    Bianca Chui 6J CAIS

    • Hi again Bianca – yes, I’ve been receiving all sorts of fantastic haikus from you all at CAIS this week, and I’ll be writing to all of you this weekend! And don’t worry – I’ll let 12 year olds enter provided they’re in Grade 6 and not secondary school. I’ll put a quick post on my blog about this this weekend. Thanks for writing!

  12. hi miss brennan. i m alice from l.i.scan u remember me?cat alice.but remember i am not mean can you tell me aboutyour ideas for your stories?they look really intresting please reply.thank u

    • Hi Alice – I do remember you – and Alice is such a great name, it was just the cat that was horrible! I get my ideas from all sorts of things…my childhood, the news, my kids, my reading, my research about China…. really for a writer, the whole of life is an ideas factory!

  13. Dear Sarah Brennan,

    can i please have ur email

    • Hi Gloria – it’s sarah@auspicioustimes.com. Hope to hear from you very soon! Sarah

      • Well, Sarah, Mrs Johnson said you are coming at June, is that true? Because last time you were sick and we were so disapointed, especially Chioma (Gloria), she even prayed for you at the prayer request.

      • You bet I’ll be there Bianca – wild horses won’t keep me away! And please thank Chioma for her very kind prayers – that was very sweet!

  14. Hi Sarah Brennan,
    I’m Lucie
    You visited our school ASIHK (Australian International School Hong Kong)
    I really want to be an author like you when I grow up!
    Can you please give me some tips on how to write a really good story like your stories?
    I love your story The Tale of Rhonda Rabbit
    It is so funny!

    • Hi again Lucie – the best thing to do is to write about what you know…but then give it a funny or strange or spooky twist! That always makes a good story!

  15. Dear Sarah,
    You just visit me in SAS (3BR). I like your knew book about Rhonda Rabbit is SO extremly funny (espacially when the empoer eats his own cat!!!) Remeber you told us abou a dog being lost and his owner comes out and find him in a spaceship with aliens, I sure hope you will wright THAT book it will sell good I promise!!!!

    Charlotte

    • Hi Charlotte – so glad you liked my story! I might just have to publish that alien story some day…

  16. Dear Sara Brenna,

    1)Which books character is your most famous?
    2)What are the best selling books?
    3)What is the naughtiest character?, is it (Ronda Rabbit)?
    4)Which subgect do you think it is you favriot , is it wirters or reader work shop?

    SAS 2RV-Melody Wu ^_^

    • Hi Melody – I think Chester Choi is probably the best known character in my books as that’s my oldest Calendar Tale! It’s also sold most copies to date but that’s because it was the first one off the block! The naughtiest character just has to be Rhonda, though Princess Precious, Temujin and Chester Choi are rather naughty too! And I like doing all sorts of sessions with kids – the readings are so much fun, but I also like interacting with kids in the workshops too!

  17. Hi Sarah Brennan!
    Its me Lucie again!
    I wonder if you know my friend Abbey Gibson?
    She does Faust Drama Group with your daughter!
    Oh and also i ordered your new book The Tale of Rhonda Rabbit! I am really excited to read it. I love all your books you write!
    From Lucie! (AISHK!)

    • Hi again Lucie! Yes I do know Abbey! She’s a very talented young actress and my daughter likes her very much. Thanks for writing!

  18. Sarah, I am The Eye Dr To Be’s mum. We love your books so much. It is my greatest pleasure to meet you. You are incredible and I am sure you will make yourself well known by the WORLD one day. Please keep on writing

    • We love you very much,
      You are the greatest story teller!!!

      • Thank you again! And I’m sure that Lam Yin will make a great eye doctor!

    • Thank you very much Lam Yin’s mum! I’ll definitely do my best!

  19. Hi Sarah, you visited our school in May. It was Shatin Junior School, and in play, we saw you! I ordered 5 of your books with my sister, and I am SO exited that I’m going to get your signed books! Anyway, I just commented to ask when is the next Clever Compitition out, AND I had a suggestion-maybe you could just make a “Sarah Brennan Little Libary” when you’ve done a few more Chinese Calendar Tales? I think that will be GREAT!!! Thank you very much! =) I ❤ your books! + I can't believe I'm going to get a dirty map toO!

    • Hello Man Kiu, it’s great to hear from you and I’m so glad you love my books! I love your suggestion of a Little Library – what a great idea! I’m just judging Competition Number 10 now – so have patience! I’ll be announcing the next competition by the end of next week!

  20. your a creative person where do you come up with these things!!!

    • Thank you Amy for your lovely comment! I come up with my ideas just about everywhere, but especially from Chinese history and culture. It’s fascinating!

      • What an intresting cultre i would love to study about them!

      • That’s a great idea Amy!

  21. It was lovely to meet you at Edinburgh Zoo today. Emily and Oliver were thrilled to have their books signed and kept them quiet for ages on the way home in the car!

    • It was lovely to meet you too Emma – and thanks for the post! Glad to hear the kids were occupied on the way home!

  22. if im born in april what is my chinese animal

    • Hi Amy – the animal you are actually depends on the year you were born in, unlike the Western zodiac which depends on the month you were born in. So you need to check what year you were born in on my Chinese Calendar Animal page!

  23. thank you for coming to cais m. bye!

  24. Hi Sarah

    I am a fan and would like to interview you for an article in a local magazine. I sent you an email via your Sarah Brennan website. Hopefully you’ve received it and would love to hear back from you soon!!

    Renee.

  25. Dear Sarah Brennan,

    I am Angelina. I am one of the student in IMS Pacific super (the school you went to on the March 7th).Our class really did enjoy your story.

    Also i am from Australia too. I live in Sydney,NSW.But now i’ve moved to HongKong with my parents.I really enjoy this school in Hong Kong. I hope you enjoyed it too!!

    Angelina Zhang

    • Hi Angelina – thanks for writing! I’m so glad your class enjoyed the story – I enjoyed telling it to you all! I wish you a very happy stay in Hong Kong!

  26. Dear Sarah Brennan,
    I am Moira. Today you visited our school. Clear Water Bay School. I loved the story that you read to us the PIng Yin Panda book. We had so much fun. I have a question do you sleep with your toys? Why did you wirte the story on Ping Yin Panda?

    • Hello Moira! Thanks for your lovely message! I actually don’t sleep with my toys as my husband is quite scared of dragons….but I keep them all in a big basket where they cuddle up and keep each other warm. Fortunately they’re all friends, as otherwise that dragon of mine would have eaten the lot of them by now! I wrote Pin Yin Panda because I already had a dragon story for the new year (The Tale of Chester Choi) so I thought it would be fun to write a story about another iconic Chinese animal and link it in with the Zodiac and with the new real-life pandas in Edinburgh Zoo!

      • hi Sarah Thanks for the great reply that you gave me. I love Ping Yin Panda book. I love all your books and your toys! More questions HAve you got any of your books ?

      • Of course Moira – I’ve got ALL of them!!

  27. This is great!!! Sarah!!!

    I Love your story

  28. i can’t work it out! my answer was:76.439604.

  29. dear sarah, i ordered 5 book of yours,my dad didnt tick the dirty map so can you add a dirty map for me

    • Of course I will Chor Ki! I hope you enjoy all the books!

  30. Hi Sarah,
    I’m Mary, I live in Hobart and I also know the slopes of Mount Wellington very well. Saturday morning walks on ‘my’ mountain with some friends is now an established ‘event’ in the diary. I am in Hong Kong with 23 choristers from the Tas Symphony Orchestra Chorus and last night we sang the Brahms ‘Ein deutsches Requiem’ accompanied by the HK Philharmonic to a packed house at the Cultural Centre. Preparing to fly home, I wanted to take a book home to my nearly 2 year old Granddaughter Winnie. My friend and I found two of your books. I bought The Tale of Temujin and have been chuckling my way through it. I can’t wait to read it to Winnie – particularly as I have travelled extensively (on horse back) in Mongolia, so there will be much to talk about. Off now to fly back to Hobart, hoping that my daughter waits just a few more days before her twins are born. Then Christmas and then my other daughter will produce her set of twins ( must have been something they ate) and I shall go and hide in a cupboard!
    Thank you for writing such a colorful and entertaining tale. I shall try to find more of your work.
    Mary McArthur

    • Hello Mary – what a lovely message to receive from a fellow Taswegian! I’m so glad that you had a giggle with my ferocious Temujin and the dreadful Princess Precious! I do hope that Winnie enjoys it. I wish you a wonderful and wonder-packed Christmas with all the grandchildren, old and new – being a twin myself, I think twins are rather special! And do keep an eye out for my other books – they’re available now in Australia through Dennis Jones and Associates if you ask your favourite bookshop to get them in. Best wishes, Sarah

  31. Hi Sarah,
    Can you please tell me how to enter your competition?

    • Hi Jigar – I’ll be posting the next competition very soon – about next week – on my blog so keep on visiting. When I post it I’ll tell you how to enter it. I can’t wait to read your entry!

  32. Hi Sarah,
    I was at the school you went today (Scotch College). I really liked the way you read Tin Pin Panda! 😀

  33. I mean Ping Yin Panda

    • Actually it’s Pin Yin Panda!! But so long as you remember she was a panda that’s just fine!

  34. Dear Sarah,
    I have already started my story!
    😛 😀

  35. Can you please tell me your email?

  36. Dear Sarah, can you tell me where do I enter the poem competition please.
    thank you. Catherine Lena Zhu 16/2/13

    • Hello Catherine – I”ll be posting the details for the competition this next week. Keep visiting my blog and I’ll post the details very soon with all the information about how to enter. If you’d like me to add your email address to my Funny and Fabulous Mailing List so you can be notified individually, just write to me at sarah@auspicioustimes.com – but make sure you check it’s okay with Mum or Dad first!

  37. hi I am Alice from lantau International school. I love your books and i entered the snake poem competition. but i can not think of any sutible words for my poem would you please give me some tips please? that would be awesome.

    cheers!!!

    • Alice why don’t you think about snakes and how they look and feel and sound, and also how they make YOU feel! Then I’m sure all sorts of wonderful words will pop into your head, and you can jot them down right away!

  38. Dear Sarah, is boudoinga a word? cause my principal used to use it when students do a amazing piece of work. another thing, can you cancel my entry for the snake comp? im planning to do another one because i just read a book called snake world and i got loads of new ideas.

    Thanks alot! Angel

    • That’s no problem Angel – I’ll wait for your new entry. Hmmm…boudoinga hey?? Never heard of it! Maybe it’s a fun makeup word, or maybe it’s a different language! You’ll have to ask your principal that!

  39. you come to my school before!

  40. and my teacher told me you are coming to our school next week

  41. Dear Sarah Brennan,
    You were at our school at BISS on Tuesday.
    How deos it feel to be a author?
    How old are you?
    What is your favorite book?
    Best wishes
    Luisa

    • Hello Luisa – it was great to meet you all at BISS Puxi on Tuesday! I LOVE being an author and can’t imagine doing any other job that would make me happier. I’m NOT going to tell you how old I am :), but I can tell you that I have loads of favourite books so it’s very hard to choose one! I can tell you though that as far as kids’ books are concerned, I love the books I’ve listed on my Brilliant Books page and the kids’ authors I’ve listed on my Amazing Authors page here on my blog! Why don’t you have a look and see what you think? And thanks for writing!

  42. hi sarah,

    i just wanted to know where in july were you born

    • Hi Stephanie – I was born on the 1st of July in Hobart in Tasmania! Have a great day!

  43. hi sarah.
    how do you get on sarah@auspicioustimes.com?I’ve tried but on google there was like a million sites that was not related to sarah@auspicioustimes.com!!!!
    loads of thanks(or not!!)
    ashley lor
    sha tin junior school
    y5

    • Hi Ashley – all you have to do is click on the link sarah@auspicioustimes.com and you will then be emailing me! You don’t need to look for a website with that name, just click on the link!

  44. HELLO I can’t wait till you judge the compitition

  45. Dear Sarah
    Do you know your coming to my school this Thursday?
    My school is K.J.S.
    I know when you were born, your older than my dad!
    19……

    • Oooooooh – CHEEKY! Your Dad must be VERY young! See you on Thursday and watch out – my dragon might EAT you!

      • Ha Ha Ha your dragon didn’t eat me today.

  46. Dear Sarah Brennan
    I wish to get on the poem competition but I couldn’t find it! How do I write the poem for your poem competition?

    • Hi Youn, you need to click on the Clever Competitions tab at the top of the page on my landing page, and that will take you straight to all the information you need.

  47. hi,its me jasmeet,i am from lutheran academy,you came to visit my school in hk.i am happy to see you and i will hope that you will come to meet us again

    • i love your Ms Sarah,i am really excited about your coming books of monkey.i hope you enjoyed coming to our school,i miss u.Bye!

  48. Hi I’m Scarlett From Sha Tin Junior,
    I could not find the link above the clever competition description!
    Can you send it to me?

    • Hi Scarlett – take a look at the blog homepage ie the one where I post about my school visits etc. At the top you’ll see a number of “buttons” for things like Wicked Words, Amazing Authors etc. That’s where you’ll also find the Clever Competitions button, and all you have to do is click on it! But if you’re short of time, just click on this link for the same result! https://sarahbrennanblog.com/competitions-and-challenges/

      • Thanks and sorry for my late reply!:)

  49. How can I enter your writing competition

    • Vinay you need to take a look at my Clever Competition button at the top of the blog. The most recent competition has just finished now, so you’ll have to wait for the next one! If you subscribe to my blog, you’ll be able to find out immediately I post the details!

  50. Hi Ms.Brennan,
    Our school will celebrate Book Week on March 2017 and I have the honour of organising it. I have thought of many ideas to celebrate it and I also thought it would be great to culminate it with a fantastic author’s visit and you would be the best fit! I am sure all our students will be delighted to see you and listen as you read to them one of your amazing stories.
    I would like to know all the details and arrangements needed to get you booked for the said event. Kindly email me at hennie@discoverymind.edu.hk.
    Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Best regards,
    Hennie

    • Hi Hennie – it’s great to meet you. I do have a few dates left this March – please see the email I have sent you today. All the best, Sarah

  51. Hi Sarah, Where did you come up with the name of your publishing business, Auspicious Times Ltd? Did the name have special significance for you? Cheers, Ailsa

    • Hi Ailsa – What a great question! Auspicious, meaning lucky or favourable, is a very important word for Chinese people – think of auspicious dates, auspicious colours and so on. And Times is a name always associated with publishing – think New York Times, The Sunday Times, Straits Times! So when I had to decide on the name for my company, here in Hong Kong, with a view to publishing stories about China, I thought that Auspicious Times sounded just right – and lucky too! And so far, so good! The only trouble I’ve had from it is where people very occasionally write my company a cheque with the name Suspicious Times, which my bank doesn’t like AT ALL :)!


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