Meet the Author – Sandra Bennett
Reading and writing has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. My father always told me I had a gift of the gab for telling stories as I never stopped talking whether someone wanted to listen or not. I started reading before I went to school, I had memorised every word of all my favourite books. Mum couldn't skip a page to quickly finish even if she wanted to. I always knew if she left anything out. As I grew older my hunger for the written word increased tenfold. Mum couldn't keep up the demand for new books. She'd buy what she could or borrow from friends and libraries. It wasn't long before I was writing my own stories and won my first competition by the time I was 16 years old.
I loved reading and writing so much that I decided my future lay in sharing that passion with others through teaching and bringing the joy of words to children in the classroom. I found writing stories that related to those children engaged them and helped them learn. During that time I wrote several stories to encourage my students to want to learn to read. I have wonderful fond memories of kindergarten students lying on the floor of the classroom desperately trying to read the latest adventure I had written for them and about them.
I have been lucky enough to live and teach in both Australia and Thailand as I have moved around with my husband and family. We have shared many fun times and experiences throughout Asia, Australia and the UK that help bring fantastic ideas to the page. The idea for Gingerbread Aliens and many others has come from raising a family of three and wanting to demonstrate to my own boys as well as students that from ordinary everyday situations extraordinary stories that are fun and entertaining can evolve.
I hold a Diploma in Children's Writing, a Degree in Primary Teaching and a Graduate Diploma in ESL/LOTE. I have been teaching Primary school age children from K-6 for over 25 years and been developing a series of children's stories for at least the past ten years.
I now live on a tranquil little property just outside of our Nation's Capital where my nearest neighbours are the kangaroos that wander through my paddocks each morning and afternoon. Sometimes if we are lucky we even get the odd visit by a wombat or echidna, but I don't like it when the snakes come to visit in the heat of the summer. We mostly only see the wombats when we are coming home late at night and they are out on the road foraging for food, but they often leave their calling card (droppings) on rocks around our paddocks. Most days my gardens are also filled with the chatter of Eastern Rosellas, pink galahs and warbling magpies that tend to swoop when they are nesting every spring. They seem to forget I have fed them all year! Some mornings the yellow crested cockatoos come screeching in for a feed and land on the roof like a herd of elephants.
The rabbits are always making burrows where they shouldn't and there's usually a fox's den somewhere on the land. Our old dog used to sniff out the foxes and move them on but now he's no longer with us, our younger dog hasn't really picked up the same idea. She's a gorgeous fluffy white Japanese Spitz that doesn't have the same instincts as a mischievous Jack Russell cross Fox Terrier.
We've even been known to have wild boar digging in the mud after heavy rain along our creek bed. They once ventured up into our top paddock which I admit worried me somewhat. Serenity it may be, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, but uneventful it never is!