Gabrielle Reid is an English-born Australian writer of contemporary fiction. She lives near Lake Macquarie in NSW with her husband, three children and two playful kittens. Gabrielle began writing as a small child and never stopped. She's been dreaming of a writing career since she was seven, but took a few detours along the way. Gabrielle holds a Master of Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts with Diploma of Education. Her first YA novel, The Things We Can't Undo, was released in May 2018 and received the Australian Association of Family Therapist's Book Award in 2019.
The longer version
Gabrielle began her life in Yorkshire, England. She moved to Australia with her family at the age of five and grew up in the northern suburbs of Sydney. The youngest of three children, Gabrielle spent a lot of her childhood making up elaborate stories for her toys. She devoured books as soon as she could read, especially Enid Blyton.
Gabrielle's first attempt at a novel came in grade 5, when a teacher gave her the opportunity to work on one of the two classroom computers (yes, she's that old) during recess or lunch. It was a story about a dress with a magic pocket, where the wearer would find whatever they wished for. Most of the story stayed in Gabrielle's head, with about 2 chapters making it on to the page. It was then that she learnt the first rule of writing: to be a writer, one must actually write. And most of the time, writing is hard work.
Despite this uncomfortable realisation, Gabrielle continued to make up stories. More and more often, she wrote them down. Throughout high school, English was her best subject (and sometimes her favourite, depending on the teacher) but she planned to be a vet. And then a dairy farmer. And then a childcare worker. And eventually a teacher. Gabrielle attended Macquarie University in Sydney, where she received a BA DipEd with a double major in Literature and Philosophy. She married, started life as a high school English teacher, and moved to a country town.
"Edit, rewrite, edit and rewrite again."
Gabrielle had never quite given up on the dream of being a published author, so she enrolled in her Masters degree at the University of Canberra. It was there that she wrote the earliest drafts of her first full-length YA novel, and realised just how terrible the two other novellas she had written were. She also received lots of practical training in what she knew to be the second rule of writing: after you've written something, edit, rewrite, edit and rewrite again. The editing process continued long after she graduated, with the help of friends, colleagues, editors and writing groups. In time, more stories were written, edited and submitted for publication. Some shorter works have since been published in literary journals and websites, and her second YA manuscript grew into her debut novel publication, released in 2018 by Ford Street.
These days, Gabrielle snatches her writing time when her youngest daughter is napping and her older children are at school. After saying goodbye to her dog in late 2018, she now has to battle a couple of cats who think her pen is a toy. Gabrielle is an outgoing sort who does most of her talking online under various pseudonyms, user names, and occasionally her real name. You might know her on an internet forum somewhere. Her favourite is scribophile, a writing community that has proven invaluable in getting her this far.