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Isobelle says that she is very fortunate in that she has spent pretty much her whole life being a writer, and before she was a writer, she was a storyteller. By that, she means that she told stories to her 7 younger brothers and sisters.
Isobelle's dad died in a car crash when she was 14 years old, and her mum worked evenings, so she was left to look after all of the children for whose antics she would be ultimately responsible. She had no particular means of entertaining them because her family did not buy books and they had neither a television nor radio. So she made up stories and the main point of the stories was to rivet her audience so that they would not even think of getting up to mischief. Naturally the stories always had a thrilling scary thread, as well as delving into some sort of moral or ethical question. Isobelle has never forgotten the almost mystical power over an audience that a storyteller has, when the story is deep and links you.
Isobelle wrote her first full book, Obernewtyn, when she was 14 years old. It was also the first book she published. It was accepted by the first publisher she sent it to and it was short-listed for Children's Book of the Year in the Older Readers category in Australia.
"If you look at the body of any writers' work, you can figure out the questions that animate them. I think that is what real writers do. They don't tell people how to live or what to think. They write in order to try and answer their own deepest questions, " says Isobelle.
The question at the heart of all of Isobelle's books and stories, from Obernewtyn onwards, is: "Why do people do the things they do - the terrible things and the wonderful things?"
Isobelle Carmody remains Australia's foremost fantasy writer. Find out more at www.isobellecarmody.com.au.
Isobelle returned to Perth briefly in October 2012, as one of nine presenting authors at the inaugural Celebrate Reading National Conference: Insights into Quality Australian Literature for Young Adults, held at The Literature Centre in Fremantle.
She is currently working on The Red Queen the final book in the Obernewtyn Chronicles, and the screenplay for Greylands, on a Film Australian grant. Isobel has also begun a PhD at the University of Queensland.