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Belinda Murrell

Author

Belinda Murrell is an internationally published, best-selling author of 26 children’s books, who regularly speaks to thousands of children every year at schools, festivals and literary events around Australia. Belinda is an engaging presenter whose author talks and creative writing workshops are interactive, dynamic and inspiring, leaving students excited about books and reading.

Where were you born?

I was born in Sydney, in a family of writers (my sister Kate Forsyth and brother Nick Humphrey are also published authors, while the family history of writing books goes back nearly 200 years). We grew up in a house full of books, and loved dressing up with swords and bows to play our favourite characters. My father was a vet so there was always plenty of animal chaos. I had a wonderful childhood.

What other jobs have you had?

I have worked as a travel journalist, technical writer, editor, writing teacher and public relations consultant as well as a vet nurse, stable girl, waitress in a ski resort and a grapepicker! All of these were great life experiences to inspire my writing.

What themes are recurring in your work?

The importance of friendship and family. Discovering your own strength and tenacity, despite your fears, overcoming obstacles and celebrating the joy in life. Have adventures, be brave and lead a life that is overflowing with experiences. Courage can change the world!

What have been the highlights of your career?

There have been so many. Travelling the world with my family to research my time slip books. Being recognized by various awards. Every time a parent or teacher or child writes to me to tell me that one of my books has changed a child’s life – by hooking them on reading, or helping them deal with a friendship problem or inspiring them to write. Visiting schools and meeting a child who tells me I am their favourite author in the world! Or being invited by the Governor-General of Australia to run creative writing workshops for disadvantaged children at Admiralty House. Writing has been an amazing journey! I absolutely know that I have the best job in the world!

Where have your works been published?

My books have been published in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, USA, UK, South Africa and Brazil. My first few Lulu Bell books have been translated into Afrikaans and Portuguese, with more to come.

What are you passionate about?

Of course my family – and in particular my three children. Writing books which kids love. And the power of reading books to change children’s lives for the better.

Haven’t I seen you before?

My favourite thing to do is to travel all over the world with my family, having fabulous adventures, so perhaps you’ve seen me climbing a Scottish mountain, riding an elephant in Sri Lanka or exploring the tunnels under the streets of Paris?

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Like many of the characters in my books, I also have lots of animals. I have a gorgeous puppy called Rosie, a horse called Nutmeg, three wild cockatoos and a possum family who visit our verandah and a python called Sammy (yes a pet snake lives in our kitchen.)

Testimonials

I would like to thank you again for the intensive session you ran with Extension English students ….I can say absolutely that the quality of their writing improved markedly following your workshop.

—Jodie Bennet, Assistant Principal, St Lukes, June 2014

On behalf of the teachers and children of Newport School, thank you so much for your wonderful talks, time and effort. We feel very lucky to have met you and heard your stories. Good luck with all your endeavours.

—Pam Mason, Teacher/Librarian, Newport Public School

Manly Village students are huge fans of Belinda’s books. She visited our school and spoke to the students in years 3-6, all of whom were excited and enthusiastic about her presentation. They particularly enjoyed dressing up as some of the characters from the stories.

—Christine Neill, Teacher/Librarian, Manly Village Public School

We have had the pleasure of a talk from Belinda. She is entertaining and able to hold the children’s interest. The students love her Sun Sword Trilogy. The fantasy story of four children on a quest searching for the Sun Sword and its magical gems has captivated many students’ imaginations.

—Theresa Souter, Teacher/Librarian, Balgowlah Heights Public School

Thank you, Belinda for enthusing our students about fantasy and adventure stories. We were privileged to view your manuscripts and hear about the process you go through to be an author. Students heard first hand of the need to write and rewrite, to listen to the comments of people around them and to persevere with publishers. We loved hearing of your family and exciting travels that influence your writing.

—Katherine Wiebe, Teacher-Librarian Arnold Library, Redlands

I LOVED BELINDA’S WORKSHOP. It inspired me to write…She is my favourite author AND ALWAYS WILL BE. She is so inspiring, kind and funny, plus her books make me bump into everything!!!

—Mi-Jung, student at Clover Hill State School, March 2015

Our students have not stopped raving about Belinda’s session…

—Somerset Celebration of Literature, March 2015

We have had the immense pleasure of a visit from Belinda recently. The students were enthralled by her experiences as a writer and were anxious to know all about the process of getting your ideas down on paper and finally into a book. Belinda is an entertaining, enthusiastic speaker who kept the student’s attention throughout her visit. The students loved hearing about the characters from the Sun Sword trilogy and were very anxious to know more about her next books.

—Elleni Christie, Teacher/Librarian, Allambie Heights Public School

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