Gabrielle Lord grew up in a very noisy house, with their father’s surgery at the front, the eldest of four brothers and two sisters. She made up fantastic stories for the younger ones, using different sorts of flowers and leaves as characters, together with the odd plastic soldier from the Cornflakes packet—walking them along with a voice-over explaining the action. The story grew and grew and never really ended—a story about kings, queens, witches, princes, princesses, wicked step-mothers, monsters, armies and brave humans. The story extended itself from the veranda into the ‘playroom’ where blocks were used to build castles and forts. Often, the towers of blocks were demolished during a battle. Sometimes the battles made such a noise that their stern father would emerge from the surgery in his white coat, mirror on his head, stethoscope swinging and tell them to cut it out! So the story would spread out into the garden near the tap, where dams and rivers were built.
Their mother didn’t mind the noise or the mess, as long as they were out of the house. There was also some theatre—in the form of a very short production—it only lasted about twelve seconds and took place in a darkened room—but “The Ghost Pants”, starring a pair of their father’s boxer underpants, is still talked about in certain circles to this day.
Now that the brothers and sister are all grown up and some have children of their own, Gabrielle continues to make up stories for a much bigger family—the readers of books all over the world.
About her publishing career:
Gabrielle Lord has worked in many different areas: sales, teaching, brick-cleaning, peach-picking and packing, and in the Public Service as an employment officer. She started writing seriously aged 30.
Her first two manuscripts ended up composting the tomatoes at her market garden—another attempt to make a living—but the third one, Fortress, was picked up internationally and made into a feature film starring Rachel Ward. A later novel, Whipping Boy, was made into a telemovie starring Sigrid Thornton. The film rights money, coinciding with her daughter leaving school, allowed Gabrielle to resign and, instead of getting up at 4.30am and writing for several hours before heading off for work, she could write full-time and lead a more ‘normal’ writer’s life—hanging around with scientists and detectives, badgering forensic anthropologists (she studied Anatomy at Sydney University) and doing work experience with a busy private security business and of course, writing.
Research is everything, she says. ‘Out of my contacts with experts (who are always far too modest to describe themselves that way) I get not only the fine-tuning necessary for today’s savvy readers, but also wonderful incidents and images that enrich and enlarge my books.’
Gabrielle’s interests are very simple. She enjoys walking, meditation, singing, gardening, chatting with close friends, and being with her family and grandkids.
Gabrielle has now written 16 adult novels plus a stand-alone YA novel, Monkey Undercover. Conspiracy 365 has grown from its original 12 books to 17 and has been published in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Portugal, Turkey, Indonesia and China—twice—in English and Chinese characters as well. It has also been sold into nine Asian countries by Scholastic Malaysia. Currently, she's working on a new YA Trilogy '48 Hours', in which two teen investigators crack three different crimes.