Sandy Fussell is a mum, an author and a computer programmer. Much to her surprise, these jobs go together very well. She calls herself the Cinderella Author, firmly convinced someone has waved a magic wand over her head. Her greatest fear is one day the ball will end and she will turn back into a pumpkin. Hopefully not in the middle of a school visit!
Sandy’s first education books were released in 2007 — Ratbags (fiction for emerging readers) and The Smart Shopper, a non-fiction title. Her family laughs about the last one as Sandy hates shopping and is not very good at it.
She is the author of the award-winning historical fiction series, Samurai Kids. Three titles were CBCA Notables and the first book, White Crane, won an international IBBY award for books related to disabilities. The first two and final books are set in Japan, with the remaining titles set in China, Korea and Cambodia. The series is used in schools as a text for the National Curriculum cross priority Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia (recommended by NSW Board of Studies for years 5 to 8).
Her greatest love is historical fiction. Polar Boy, set in the 14th century Arctic was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Awards in the Younger Reader category, and Jaguar Warrior set at the end of the Aztec Empire was a CBCA Notable. All Sandy’s titles are on state reading Challenges. She is currently writing her first young adult novel and has a picture book due to be published in 2015.
Sandy enjoys interacting with young readers and writers and has given a number of workshops including a CBCA master class at the Sydney Writers Festival. School visits are always fun. She often uses a gong to demonstrate onomatopoeias and takes her wooden bokken (practise sword) and shakuhachi flute to talk about her research which included sword fighting classes and learning to play the shakuhachi from the first non-Japanese master. Pointy sticks and loud noises are a great incentive to get children listening, especially boys!