Sophie was born in Jakarta in 1959 to French parents but spent much of her early childhood with her grandmother in France before coming to live in Australia in 1963. Her upbringing was truly multicultural as French was spoken at home and she regularly travelled back to the tiny south-western French village of Empeaux. From an early age she loved writing stories, finding that they helped her make sense of the world.
Sophie went to university in Sydney and Armidale and now lives in Armidale with her husband and three children. Her first novel, The House in the Rainforest (published in 1990), was for adults but the books she has written since have mainly been for children and teenagers. However, she is also a short story writer, occasional essayist and journalist, contributing regularly to newspapers and magazines including The Australian and The Australian Book Review, Quadrant, The Guardian (UK), Magpies and Viewpoint. As well as making a vigorous and significant contribution to the children’s book world Sophie has recently been appointed to a three year position on the Literature Board of the Australia Council..
Sophie’s strong interest in Arthurian legend led to her involvement as one of the organisers of the Grail Quest festival held at Sydney University in June 1999 and the Camelot Day celebrations at Macquarie University in April 2000. She is the president of the Arthurian Association of Australia.
Sophie’s books include The Opera Club, The Sun is Rising, The Secret, The Tiger, Cold Iron, The Forest of Dreams (an adult fantasy trilogy based around the life and work of the twelfth-century poet, Marie de France), The Tempestuous Voyage of Hopewell Shakespeare, In Hollow Lands, Snow, Fire, Sword, and most recently, the Thomas Trew series. Sophie was also the editor of The Road to Camelot, a collection of stories written by prominent Australian children’s authors, based on Arthurian characters. As well as crossing age barriers, Sophie likes to write within different genres and has successfully written both fantasy and ‘realistic’ fiction as well as novels combining both elements. She also likes to play tricks with prose and enjoys threading elements of mystery and suspense throughout all her books.
Sophie regularly visits schools to offer talks and workshops and is happy to work with all age groups Y3 – Y12. She is able to speak on a number of different topics related to her work, for example writing and publishing books, journalism, her extensive knowledge of Arthurian legend, the importance of myth and fairytale in modern society.
Feedback from Sophie’s school visits:
“Very good workshop. Creating a fantasy world was lots of fun.”
“Excellent information given to students. Great questions asked by students and Sophie’s answers were all honest and encouraging for all.”