I've loved to create stories for as long as I can remember. Characters come tumbling out of my brain and worlds develop around them. I grew up in a lovely, noisy, active, Dutch/Indonesian-origin migrant family, the second child of eight with a father and mother who knew how to laugh, had a keen interest in not taking anything for granted, and loved to philosophise and read books. They valued education and thoughtfulness. Reflecting on my childhood, I wonder why, given that I was often scribbling stories, that my parents didn't encourage me to take up a writing career. I asked my mother about it once (when I was already in my fifties); she said: "It just never occurred too us" - funnily enough, it never occurred to me either. Now, with my children grown up - and a career as a manager, consultant, academic, environmental advocate and editor behind me – I've finally decided to bring my creations to the fore.