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, will be 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. I’m very excited about it and will tell you more when I’m allowed!