Dianne lives on the south-west coast with her husband, Pete and dog, Harry.
Short bio (123 words)
Dianne is author of 15 books for teenagers and young readers. Her latest YA novel, The Shark Caller is set on the south-west coast of Australia and the New Ireland Province of PNG. Light Horse Boy was a CBCA Honour Book and won the 2014 WA Premier’s Award. Granny Grommet and Me, inspired by surfing grandmas was on the CBCA shortlist. Lighthouse Girl, winner of children’s choice WAYRBA, explores the story of Fay Howe, the Albany lighthouse keeper’s daughter who signaled to soldiers in 1914. Lighthouse Girl inspired the Little Girl Giant’s story in Royal de Luxe performance of The Giants – Perth Festival (2015). ‘The Lighthouse Girl’ by playwright Hellie Turner and Black Swan Theatre opens in Albany/Perth in April 2017.
Dianne lives on the south coast of Western Australia with her husband, Pete and their dog, Harry. Dianne’s daughter, Sophie works at Parliament House in Canberra. Dianne also has three grown-up step-kids; Kristy, Justin, Sarah and grandchildren; Amelie, Mason and Eden who live in Perth.
Dianne grew up in Melbourne, Bangkok and Albury. Her extended family lives in ACT, NSW, QLD Germany. Although she lives in the south-west corner of Australia, Dianne loves traveling over to visit them.
Dianne has always been a bookworm. In primary school she wanted to be Silky from The Magic Faraway Tree. Before that she wanted to be the Muddle-headed Wombat. Sometimes it feels like this latter wish came true…
Other favourite childhood books included The Sneetches, Bottersnikes and Gumbles, Anne of Green Gables and any story with animals in it. That animal interest hasn’t gone away as Dianne is now studying Anthropomorphism in Children’s Literature for her PhD at the University of Western Australia. This also involves writing two novels; one is fantasy, the other is historical fiction. Both feature animal characters.
Dianne writes across genres, from picture books for pre-schoolers to novels for young adults, and historical fiction for all ages. Her latest title, YA novel, The Shark Caller was recently released by Penguin Random House. Historical fiction title, Light Horse Boy was a CBCA Honour Book and a joint winner of the Western Australian Premier’s Award 2014. Partner novel Lighthouse Girl won the 2010 West Australian Young Readers’ Book Awards, was shortlisted for two Premiers’ Awards, the Crichton Award, was a CBCA Notable Book and part inspiration for the Royal de Luxe performance of The Giants in February 2015. ‘The Lighthouse Girl’ by playwright Hellie Turner and Black Swan Theatre opens in Albany/Perth in April 2017.
Granny Grommet and Me inspired by a real group of surfing grannies was shortlisted for the 2014 CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year. Dianne’s previous historical picture book Photographs in the Mud is set on the Kokoda Track in 1942. It’s used as an international peace reference and has been published in Japanese. Photographs in the Mud and Lighthouse Girl are recommended texts for the National History Curriculum. Choices, one of three titles for YA readers, was commended for the Family Therapists Children’s Literature Award and is also published in Polish.
Dianne’s most recent title, Annie’s Snails, is a chapter book for early readers. Another picture book, Nanna’s Button Tin, is due in March 2017 through Walker Books.
Dianne is a passionate advocate for children’s literature in Australia. She served six years as WA Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (2006-2012) and was a member of the Albany Sprung Writers Festival committee for 10 years. In 2013 she won the Louise Schofield Award for services to SCBWI WA.
In addition to book writing, Dianne was invited to compose an ode to the Albany Entertainment Centre. With fellow writers, Kim Scott and Maree Dawes, she read at the building’s Opening Ceremony in 2011. Other regional projects include creating and recording a collection of linked children’s audio stories for the Northcliffe Understory Sculpture Walk and in 2012 Dianne was commissioned to condense the history of Albany into information chunks for presentation on ‘information poles’ along the Princess Royal waterfront.
Dianne’s love of books is one reason she became a writer. Her stories are about many things; different cultures, the environment, friendship, being brave, turns in the road and taking chances. She also likes exploring things from different perspectives.
Dianne presents author talks and workshops at schools and festivals across Australia and Asia. She is also an ambassador for Room to Read, a proactive organisation that helps disadvantaged children change their worlds through the power of books and reading.
Dianne is a bookworm who reads and writes every day. She can’t imagine a world without books.
Interviews and Recent Articles
’12 Curly Questions’
(Booktopia, April 2014 – external site)
‘Know the Author’
(Magpies, Volume 29, March 2014 – pdf, 5mb)
A Baker’s Dozen Questions
(Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE – pdf)
Light Horse Boy
(Fremantle Press, 2013)
(Fremantle Press, 2009, 2010, audio 2011, 2013)
Photographs in the Mud
(FACP, 2005, 2007)
Nanna’s Button Tin
(Walker Books, in production, due June 2017)
Granny Grommet and Me
(Walker Books, 2013)
Books for Middle Grade Readers
(Walker Books, 2014)
(Thomson Learning, 2004)
(Thomson Learning, 2004)
(Thomson Learning, 2003)
(Thomson Learning, 2003)
(Thomson Learning, 2002)
Novels for YA Readers
(FACP, 2001, 2009, Polish version 2011)
(FACP, 1998, reprint 2003)
(FACP, 1995, new cover 2002)
The Shark Caller
(Penguin Random House, 2016)
(Association for the Blind, 2011)
Voices in the Forest
(Understorey Sculpture Walk Northcliffe, 2006)
(Good Reading, April 2013)
Dinosaurs on the Page
(Albany Seniors’ Recollections, 2008, 2009, 2010 Ed.)
Writer on Tour
(Good Reading magazine, April 2004
A Sense of Place
(RRR Network News, 2002)
(Something About the Author, issue 204, 2000, US reference)
WA Premier’s Award Children’s Book Award, 2014 (Light Horse Boy)
CBCA Honour Book, 2014 (Light Horse Boy)
SCBWI WA Louise Schofield Award for Services to Children’s Literature, 2013
WA Young Readers’ Book Awards, 2010 (Lighthouse Girl)
FAW Mary Grant Bruce Award for Children’s Literature, 1997
Down-South Literary Awards, 1995
Society of Women Writers’ Bronze Quill Award, 1992
CBCA Awards, 2014 (Granny Grommet and Me)
WA Premier’s Awards, 2010 (Lighthouse Girl)
CBCA Crichton Award, 2010 and CBCA Notable Book x 2 categories, 2010 (Lighthouse Girl)
NSW Premier’s History Awards, 2009 (Lighthouse Girl)
WA Young Readers’ Book Awards, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2002, 1999, 1996
Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature, 2001
The Wilderness Society Environment Award, 1999