I’m an Australian writer with a very varied occupational background from archaeology to migration law, to English language teaching to dog-sitting and tour guiding!

I’m a life-long reader and a student of the world.

The world is a fascinating place, wouldn't you agree? So many interesting places to visit, experiences to have and yes, books to read, that I often feel I’m running out of time!

In the 1990s I excavated for four seasons at the site of Tell Ahmar, North Syria, with the University of Melbourne. I also excavated in Turkey with another group from the same university. After putting my trowel away for many years I went back to the field in 2016 for five weeks excavation in Jordan, followed by two in Israel and just last year, another three on the island of Menorca. Despite the crackling of the knees and creaking of the joints, I think it's fair to say that an archaeological site really is my happy place!

It's never too late!

Visible Bodies, Resistant Selves (general readers)

Figurines, Slaves and Soldiers (teenage readers)

I finished my PhD in archaeology in 2001 and thirteen years later I rewrote it for general readers under the title Visible Bodies, Resistant Selves: The Iron Age Figurines From Tell Ahmar. The next years I published a version for young readers, called Figurines, Slaves and Soldiers: The Iron Age Figurines from the Euphrates Valley, North Syria.  I launched my first book at the Melbourne Writers' Festival. 

Now I’m turning my hand to another of my great passions…murder mysteries! Did you know Agatha Christie’s husband was the great archaeologist Max Mallowan and that she accompanied him on his digs in the Middle East? My favourite Christie novel is ‘They Came to Baghdad’, set on an excavation in Iraq and there are others, set in Egypt and Jordan.

My heroine, Quintilla, has a degree in archaeology and lives in Melbourne during the final years of the First World War. She uses her archaeological skills to solve all kinds of criminal activities.

I’m still working on the first book, so watch this space for updates!

On this blog you’ll find a mish-mash of posts reflecting my varied interests:

  • Slow Travel
  • Visiting Archaeological Sites
  • Digging
  • Museums
  • Ancient Figurines
  • Teaching and Travelling in China
  • Digging and Travelling in Syria
  • History and Archaeology of Melbourne
  • Favourite Books and What I’m reading Now
  • Contented Life (Why a book and a cup of tea – and sometimes other things too - make everything better)

I live in Melbourne, Australia, with my cat Rupert, two wild lorikeets I call the ‘Buddies’, who often come down for some cheeky sunflower seeds, and a visiting magpie called Beak. The birds are not troubled by Rupert. He likes to watch, but he’s not the troubling sort.