Author of ‘Tin Girl and the Crying Time’
Barbara writes for children and adults – novels, short stories, and plays. Her study at home in Dunedin, New Zealand, looks out over the Pacific Ocean. She hasn’t spotted a whale yet, but she is hopeful.
You can read about more Fontaina characters and their magical adventures in Barbara’s four Fontainia novels: The Travelling Restaurant, The Queen and the Nobody Boy, The Volume of Possible Endings, and The Knot Impossible.
‘I’ve always loved reading. When I was about eleven, I discovered the Chronicles of Narnia and loved them all. My favourite was The Magician’s Nephew about how Narnia came into being. I also relished a book called Into the Happy Glade about a group of forest animals setting up a little village with human stuff like a water wheel and a court of law. My mum always knew when I was reading it because I’d roll around with laughter. The book is long out of print, so I can’t find out if I’d still enjoy it. I relished comics too, like Superman and Batman. My favourite was The Phantom, who I thought very handsome though all you could see of him was his chiselled chin. The rest of him was hidden under grey superhero, long underwear. Every Christmas, I’d get at least one annual. I adored them, crammed with poems, games, snippets of information, and dozens of stories.’