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Jacqueline Harvey is the author of 40 novels for younger readers and a Children’s Book Council of Australia, award winning picture book. Her bestselling Alice-Miranda, Clementine Rose and Kensy and Max series are all published internationally and have garnered various short listings and awards. Jacqueline travels widely, speaking and teaching in Australia and overseas.
I was born in Sydney but grew up in Camden, New South Wales.
I started my working life in an ill-fitting pea green uniform in the fruit and vegetable section of Woollies where my job mostly involved weeding out rancid potatoes and peeling onions. Ah, Uni days! I then tried my luck working in a coffee shop where I soon discovered that I was utterly terrified of the coffee machine. Not a good sign. Fortunately, primary teaching agreed with me a lot more and I spent ten wonderful years in the classroom, before 8 years as a Deputy Head of Junior School and another three as a Director of Development. In November 2012 I took the somewhat terrifying leap to become a full time writer and haven’t looked back. .
School, friendship, bullying, positivity, optimism, travel, mystery, adventure, family, animals, food, respect, relationships, humour, intrigue, childhood and I’ve recently added spies to the list.
Walking the green carpet at the Australian premiere of the animated film, Alice-Miranda Friends Forever in 2019 and hearing the reaction of the audience. We have another film. Alice- Miranda: A Royal Christmas Ball coming out at the end of 2020.
Presenting to huge audiences of over a thousand kids at festivals in Australia and overseas – that’s a big thrill. I love when you get them laughing and cringing in all the right moments.
Nothing beats the feeling when your first book is accepted for publication and you dare to hope that you might just be on your way. It’s always exciting to be shortlisted for awards and especially lovely when you win – receiving an Honour Book in the 2006 CBCA awards for my one and only picture book, The Sound of the Sea was amazing and so too has been winning a YABBA and receiving Honour Book awards in the KOALAs, particularly as they are voted by the readers.
Being shortlisted in the Australian Book Industry Awards three years in a row and in 2015 having two books in the running, Alice-Miranda in Japan and Clementine Rose and the Seaside Escape.
Filling the ballroom at the Four Seasons hotel in Sydney with over 420 people for a high tea to launch Alice-Miranda at the Palace which was followed by similar events in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and London was quite surreal. I think though that the greatest highlights have come in the form of letters and emails from children, parents, grandparents and teachers, many of which have brought me to tears. To know that what you do has been important for someone else is rewarding and humbling in equal measures.
Alice-Miranda is published in Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, Germany and Hungary as well as by Audible. Clementine Rose is published in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Brazil and Sri Lanka. Kensy and Max will be published in the United States in 2020 and is also available on Audible and Bolinda. My books are available in over 80 countries.
Reading aloud – I have narrated ten audio books now and I love it. I’m also passionate about education and literacy in general, Indigenous education, travel and golf. I’m an ambassador for Dymocks Children’s Charities and Room to Read and nothing makes me happier than getting back into the classroom to work with the children who inspire so much of my writing.
I’ve appeared on children’s television shows including Kids WB, Saturday Disney and ABC 3 and at various festivals in Australia, Singapore and the UK as well as doing hundreds of talks in schools.
My husband and I are both keen golfers and we’ve played on some incredible courses including Pebble Beach and Gleneagles. While I love the game and have a respectable handicap, I’m certainly no expert; however, in 2015 I had an experience I will never forget, scoring an eagle on the second hole on the Old Course at St Andrew’s. It was the first and only eagle I’ve ever scored – and to do it at the home of golf was pure magic. I probably should give up now as that could well be the highlight of my golfing career!
Alice-Miranda Friends Forever recently played at the cinemas in Australia and New Zealand and is now showing on STAN and Nine NOW. Click here for a sneaky look.
If you’d like to see trailer for the latest action from Kensi and Max click here.