Leslee Anne Hewson was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Shortly after her second birthday her family uprooted and travelled for the next five years throughout Australia with business commitments. And no, they were not gypsies, although they did travel with a caravan.
The Correspondence School, which posted fortnightly to pupils who could not attend a regular school, became her first schooling. At seven and a half years of age Leslee Anne and her brother, Gordon, lived with an aunt and uncle so they could begin at a regular school. Petrified of the headmaster when asked to read she stared back at him, mute. Of course, she could read but he didn’t know that.
Leslee Anne was placed in Grade 1 with all the five year olds. Her brother started school the same day. He was put in the other Grade 1 class. No, they were not twins. He started school aged five like the rest of the children. Leslee Anne felt as tall as a giraffe in comparison to the children two years younger than her. Feeling the odd one out she was soon made to feel welcome and the other children looked up to her, literally! Once she settled in, it was realised she was in the wrong class and she was placed with children of her own age and height.
Her family later moved to Queensland where they stayed a few years before moving again at eleven years of age to Christchurch and then on to Auckland, New Zealand. The three-day voyage on the SS Australis, a Greek ship, was an adventure and her first experience of other cultures. Onboard the easter bunny visited with baskets of red painted eggs. Sadly, not chocolate, but hard boiled eggs. What a disappointment, although she remembers them looking very pretty sitting in nests of straw. She still has the Greek dolls her parents bought for her on the ship’s voyage.
Leslee Anne studied commerce and became a stenographer, making a career in shorthand which held her in good stead as she worked and travelled throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Travelling is one of her favourite past times. Skiing is up there too. Which of course, if you want to ski and live in Queensland as she does, involves her other favourite thing, travelling. Whilst doing these things, a notebook and pen are always at hand. After years of working in the business world, she now gets down to the business of crafting stories–much more fun!
In England, Ireland, and The Netherlands she worked as a stenographer. In Spain she worked as a tour guide. In Queenstown, New Zealand she worked on a beef stud farm and in the evenings worked in a restaurant as a kitchen hand. She only has two hands by the way. This is where she learnt to cook. Just joking, she peeled a lot of potatoes and washed a lot of dishes!
She had always enjoyed writing. Her lovely secondary school teacher, Mrs Williams, used to read her stories out to the rest of the class, much to her embarrassment at the time. It wasn’t until she became an adult that she was drawn back to the love of writing. She joined writers’ groups and organisations, and attended writing courses, conferences and workshops.
She married a scientist, Greg, and they have three adult children, Aimee, Gray and Eloise. They have a male cat, Cuddles, who is thirteen years old and for thirteen years they had Jess, a border collie, and the main character in six of her picture book stories. Her 98 year old mother, Pamela, also lives with them.
MY ARTIST STATEMENT
“The world is your oyster…” a quote from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.
It’s up to you to follow your dream.
Drawn to the magic of childhood, Leslee Anne hopes to entertain children through her stories.
- 2nd place CYA Conference 2017 – Aspiring Writer – Nonfiction Picture Book
- Lyrical Language Lab
- Making Picture Book Magic
- Children’s Book Academy
- SCBWI http://www.scbwi.org
- QWC http://www.qwc.asn.au
- Carindale Writers’ Group http://www.carindalewritersgroup.org
- Write Links http://www.brisbanewritelinks.com
- Book Links (Qld) Inc http://booklinks.org.au
- The Last Tuesday Children’s Book Club http://booklinks.org.au/events-2/894-2