Barbara Else is a writer and editor, born in Invercargill. She has lived in Wellington, Auckland, Oamaru, Christchurch, Dunedin and San Diego. At school she became a bookworm, head always in a novel, a Superman comic or an encyclopaedia. She was very shy except when she wrote plays for her class to perform. Barbara wanted to be an actor or perhaps a radio journalist. At university she studied English Literature and History. She was surprised to begin writing her own stories but what fun it was! She's published many novels for adults and children, and has edited several story collections for children. She has won Fellowships and prizes and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature. She also has the Margaret Mahy Medal for children's literature. She can still be shy but gets a kick from a bit of stage fright.