Fleur McDonald writes: When I get caught up in writing, the rest of the world disappears. Nothing else exists, other than myself, the characters and the story. Often I don’t know what I’m going to write, until I start typing. That’s one of my greatest joys about being an author; being able to disappear into an imaginary world where it rains on schedule and the cows have feed!  Not that I don’t like my real life, I do. But I also love ‘other’ worlds.

As a child, I was like that when I read books too. Mum says she would often walk past my bedroom and hear me laughing, stick her head in and I wouldn’t even notice her. I was completely entranced by another world.

I grew up on a diet of books and imagination. Enid Blyton, Trixie Belden and as I got older, Colin Thiele and trashy romances!  I would spend days at the top of our Willow tree in the back yard, reading about the Enchanted Woods and the Faraway Tree. Then there were the days in front of the fire, listening to my Nana’s stories of Jo the Perentie (goanna) and her  many other wild tales.

My daughter is like that now. Reading is such a gift – it transports you to places you would never have the chance to go and gives you time away from the mundane, normal things of life. I often feel inspired when I return to the real world, even if the season is a bit tough!