(also writes as Mac Park)
Susannah McFarlane is best known as the author, creator and publisher of some of Australia’s most successful children’s book series, but she has also written successful non-fiction for adults including her recently released memoir Heartlines: The Year I Met My Other Mother which she co-wrote with her birth mother Robin Leuba.
Mac Park is the pen name and partnership between Louise Park and Susannah McFarlane, who co-author the hugely popular series for boys, Boy vs Beast.
She is also the creator and writer of the awarding-winning EJ12 Girl Hero and EJ Spy School series, the author of the Little Mates series of alphabet books for under fives, and the series editor for Stuff Happens!, a great new series for boys about the everyday challenges they face.
Getting to know Susannah
Game On: How did you get into writing?
I worked as a children’s book publisher for many years and then, inspired by my daughter, I decided I wanted to try writing a spy-adventure series for girls. I had published Zac Power and decided that it was the girls’ turn to save the world! EJ Girl Hero Hot & Cold was the first book I wrote.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved writing. I used to write little stories and I used to write lots of letters to my Mum (even though she was in the same house) but I didn’t think I would be a writer when I grew up – I actually wanted to be a cowboy and then, later, a vet.
What are some of your favourite games to play?
My favourite video game is Crash Bandicoot. I love all the different levels that this brave bandicoot has to get through to rescue his friend – dark forests, darker jungles, pyramids with booby-traps, rivers with bandicoot-eating water-lillies! I also like it because it is one the few games that I can still beat my kids at!
Do you have a favourite sport, sporting event or sporting hero?
I love playing tennis. I used to spend every lunchtime when I was at school hitting tennis balls against a wall in a knock-out competition. And I love playing doubles – it’s really fast and you don’t have to run as much!
I love going to the tennis in summer and sitting on the back courts watching – it’s more fun than centre court – on the back courts you really feel like you’re part of the game!
What kinds of activities do you like to do to supercharge your summers?
I LOVE going to the beach, especially a surf beach where we can boogie board.
Can you recommend some good GAME ON reads for our SRC Members?
I love summer reading at the beach or by a pool! My top GAME ON pick would be the Ruby Redford series for younger readers (I love spy books!) and Hunger Games for older readers.
To learn more about Susannah visit her website.
A Creative Tip
Hot Off the Press
Susannah McFarlane’s EJ Girl Hero books are available. Have you had a chance to read this one yet?
Book Title: EJ Girl Hero: #4 Rocky Road
Recommended Reading Age: 6–10
As Agent EJ12, Emma can do anything: if only everyday life was as easy …
In EJ Girl Hero #4, EJ has to find out how SHADOW is sending secret messages to its evil agents–and stop being shy about performing at the school concert.
Visit Shine Agency HQ for more EJ Girl Hero fun!
And for all the girl heroes out there visit the Girl Hero Project website for inspiration and more girl power fun!