Kathy Helidoniotis
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Kathy's FAQ's

Why did you decide to become a writer?

I always wanted to be a writer. I remember writing stories from a young age. One of the stories I remember best is one I wrote when I was in Year 3. It was all about a hen called Patch. I got busy working and having kids, but wanting to be a writer was always there.

Have you always been a writer?

No. I trained as a high school teacher and still teach. I've also worked as a shelf stacker and a checkout girl.

Where do you get your ideas?

I get a lot of my ideas from my own experiences as a horse crazy kid and a lot more from my imagination. I talk to my kids. I spend a lot of time daydreaming. Sometimes I'll hear someone say something and think ‘Wow. That would make a great story'.

Do you ever get writer's block?

Not really. I get tired, but that's not the same thing. Sometimes I get lazy too and that's definitely not the same thing. If I feel stuck I have lots of ways of unsticking myself from reading a book to doing a job that needs doing. I'll come back to my desk with a clearer head and get on with the writing.

Why do you write books about horses?

I write the kinds of books I would have loved to read as a kid. I loved horses and still do and I loved reading about them. A big part of the reason I write books about horses is because it's so much FUN. I can be eleven years old all over again galloping around with my friends and getting up to mischief. Who wouldn't want to write books about horses?

Do you only write books about horses?

No. I write all kinds of books. I've written books for very young children and books for the educational market. I'm planning to write lots more books. Some will be about horses, others won't.

Do you have a horse?

I used to own a gorgeous Appaloosa mare called Georgia. I also had a horse when I was a kid. His name was Clarrie and he was my best friend in the world. Unless he was bucking me off which he did quite often. I still loved him, though.

Do you ride?

As often as I can. I love riding but I'm no equestrian – Ashleigh from the Horse Mad books is a much better rider than me!

Do you have any other pets?

At the moment we have a goldfish and a dog. As a kid I had budgies, more goldfish, more dogs, cats and, of course, Clarrie the horse.

How did you get your start as a writer?

I joined the NSW Writers' Centre, which gave me lots of good advice. Then I joined a writers group and started writing short stories and articles. The best thing that happened to me when I was learning to write was being mentored by an experienced children's author.

What advice do you have for young writers?

Read as much as you can and write as much as you can. Don't give up if you get a rejection. Ask how you can make your story better and rewrite it.


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