Melinda Wills McHugh grew up in a bayside suburb of Sydney, Australia. A self-confessed klutz, her childhood memories consist of skateboarding and falling off, riding her bike down the steep hill towards home and falling off, and constantly stubbing her toes. But things weren't all that bad. She also remembers making clothes for her dolls from scraps of fabric and staples, playing with paper dolls, writing poetry and watching old Hollywood movies with her mum. After graduating from high school, Melinda went on a self-discovery tour. Over the next six years or so (but who's counting) she worked as a five star hotel housekeeper (she can still do fabulous hospital corners), a waitress, a shoe salesgirl, a retail assistant and a receptionist - just to name a few. Over this time, her constant love of reading and writing poetry led her to enrol in communications at university and a career in writing and editing began. After working in magazine publishing, Melinda moved into the not-for-profit field, writing for animal welfare, and later international aid and development, where she still works today. During most evenings she works on her stories for children and young adults.