Stories from the Wildworld started out as a narrative, non-fiction book about the forests of south east Queensland. The research was fascinating, but every time I tried to write a few chapters, I ended up very bored with the result. And if I was already bored writing the thing, who on earth would want to read it?

Gradually, I found myself drawn back to the style of the stories that had enthralled me as a kid. Fantasy worlds, often inhabited by animals who could talk. Fables that explained deeper meanings, or how things worked. Magical possibilities and mysterious prophesies. But all inspired and imbued with the million stories of Australian nature, waiting to be told. The Wildworld was born.

Stories from the Wildworld is dedicated to Tina, my mother, who believed absolutely that animals could feel and think, and perhaps even talk. She certainly talked to them. Mum was the one who kindled my imagination from a very young age, by giving the animals around us voices and characters.

Thank you to Belinda Daly for her great warmth and enthusiasm towards all that I do; to Don Butler for showing no surprise, and only encouragement and support, as the book morphed from one version to another; to Annie Kelly, Paula D’santos, Rick Peeters, Sarah Way, Rhonda Butcher, Caroline Paterson, Jenny Read and Gordon Sanson for all believing in me from the start, and to Kristina Olsson for her warmth, interest, and insights into the mysterious world of writing.

Raymond is my rock, and I am not sure what I could have achieved without him. Thank you for always being there, and for always helping me out in innumerable ways.

Thank you to Jessica Perini for editing, and to my guinea-pig readers for your helpful comments: Mel, Mitchell and Jemma Venz, Raymond, Annie, Belinda, Quinn and Lenny.

And thank you to the many others who have showed interest in my ongoing book project(s); all of you who have given a kind word, or asked how it’s going, or shown interest in and enthusiasm for what I was doing, or have left praise and thanks on my blog. All of these things have helped me to keep going over the last four years. I hope you enjoy reading what you have helped me to create.