Who is Morris Gleitzman?
I can't remember much of my childhood. Just the best bits (books, corned beef and scoring goals) and the worst bits (sties, rhubarb and a stiff hamster). And the birthday morning I ran joyfully into the living room, tripped over my presents and sprained my elbow. The rest is blank pages.
Family records tell me I was born in 1953 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, and that we moved south when I was two. Later photos show I grew up normally with my younger brother and sister in the suburbs of London.
I read every book I could get my hands on. Classics, westerns, Enid Blyton, soccer star biographies, Richmal Crompton's William series (my favourites) and recipe books.
In 1969, we emigrated to Australia. It was a big change. The heat, the flies and the completely different tinned meats. The shock was so great I stopped reading books for nearly a year. When I started again I found I wanted to write as well.
I also wanted to eat, so I did a course called Professional Writing. By the time I graduated I knew how to write everything from journalism to the jokes on the back of cornflakes packets. What I didn't know was how to write my own stories.
That came much later. Ten years later. Eighty million comedy scripts for TV later. When, slowly, I began to write a script that was quite different. A drama about a boy called Ben who sees the world differently to his family and friends and nearly drives them all bonkers. The film was being made and I had the opportunity to convert it into a book...The Other Facts of Life was the result. People liked it and that's when I fell in love with writing books.
Since then I've written almost 40 books. And I've discovered that, for me, telling stories involves filling blank pages in more ways than one.
Mrs Mc meeting Morris Gleitzman at the CBCA Conference, Canberra in May, 2014 for the book launch of Loyal Creatures.
ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK - LOYAL CREATURES:
Morris explained that the Loyal Creatures book came about because his friend Michael Morpurgo (author of Warhorse) was asked to write an Australian version of Warhorse for the stage but he asked Morris to do it.
Loyal Creatures is the end result of Morris' research into the events of WW1 and those involved, including loyal creatures.
Loyal Creatures is about a young man seeking the adventure of war...he enlists himself, his father and his horse Daisy to the battle front in Gallipoli and Egypt. This is a story of bravery and loyalty.
Be warned - you will need tissues!