Welcome to my little corner of the Internet. My name is Dr Helen Edwards and I'm an Australian children's author, represented by Debbie Golvan at Golvan Arts Management.
My Debut middle-grade novel - THE REBELS OF MOUNT BUFFALO, will be published with Riveted Press on 11th October 2023! It's an historical fiction time-slip, inspired by and featuring Guide Alice Manfield. It's set at the very beautiful Mount Buffalo in Victoria.
Pre-Orders are now open! Head here to grab your copy.
I'm a very experienced speaker and I'm available to speak at workshops and literary events, libraries, bookshops, schools and community gatherings, on a wide range of topics. See more here.
I'm Mum to 3 beautiful sons and live in Adelaide with my family and assortment of rescue pets. I've been blogging since 2001 and have written literally thousands of blog posts. I've also written for print and digital magazines, journals, academic conferences, blogs and websites. I worked as a social worker for many years and have a PhD in Psychology. I looked at how we can better support women with type 1 diabetes as they go through the pregnancy journey.
I've lived with type 1 diabetes since 1979 and anxiety and ADHD for much of my life, both of these diagnosed in adulthood. I have also experienced depression. These were difficult times in my life, but I managed to move through them and learn a lot about myself and how to navigate the world.
I've been reading and writing since I was tiny and most of my spare time as a child was spent with my head buried in a book. When I was in grade 1, my teachers sent me to the library to choose my own readers, because I had already read the entire suite of junior readers! They were part of my journey to deciding I wanted to be an author one day.
I won an award for a book I'd written when I was 6 years old, during Children's Book Week. It still takes pride of place and even has my 6-year-old handwriting in the front Published by Helen Wilde, Written by Helen Wilde (my name before I got married). The book on the left was my prize!
Later, after my family moved to a different town, my parents taught at the area school I attended. In the holidays the most magical part was being allowed to roam the library and select an enormous box of books for the break. I would read the back of a cereal pack at the breakfast table if there was nothing else nearby!
I founded a ground-breaking online counselling service for people with diabetes in 2001, well before there was any social media. It won many awards and grants. I was an Australian of the Year state finalist and a Telstra Business Woman of the Year state finalist in 2016 for my charitable work and you can see the archived site here.
In 2013 I started The Sustainable Home Hub (then Recycled Interiors) as an outlet for my interest in design, decoration, the arts and our planet. It took off quickly and I gathered more than 100,000 followers on social media. My sustainable blog posts are now here on my writing site. I studied interior design and worked as a sustainable interior decorator for a time.
After completing my PhD in 2018, I decided it was time to follow my dreams and have a go at becoming a traditionally published children's author. I enrolled in a course with the Australian Writers Centre, began writing a middle-grade manuscript, networked with the literary community, studied and developed my craft, pitched to agents and publishers, wrote some more, and was picked up by my wonderful agent.
I wrote and pitched, wrote and pitched, and dealt with many rejections, until eventually, we received an acceptance for The Rebels of Mount Buffalo from Riveted Press, where my supportive and insightful publisher, (who has taken me on the journey from manuscript, to an actual real published book!), could see the magic glimmering within my words. I am very grateful to both Debbie Golvan and Rowena Beresford for their continued belief in me and my stories.
I grew up in country towns in South Australia, with my younger sister and my parents, who taught me the value of people and planet. They filled us up with music, art, books, dancing, the sky, the stars, the ocean, forests of trees, peaks of mountains, camping under stars, many roadtrips, many animals, lots of laughter and plenty of love.
Most importantly, my parents taught me to notice the world and all of the small, magical moments, to notice people and to respect and celebrate diversity, to stand up and fight for what matters and what is right, to never shy away from being a rebel when it matters, to be thoughtful, to be kind.
I currently have a couple of other middle-grade manuscripts on submission, as well as two picture books. I am writing an historical fantasy set in a lighthouse on Kangaroo Island and co-writing a magical story with one of my favourite writers (and humans) in the whole world. I am ever grateful for the opportunities to learn and develop my craft, in a literary community filled with people who are bright, caring and genuine. Australian literary folk are truly remarkable.
I hope that my stories help you to see what matters, what is true and real, that you are not alone. I hope all children and young people see themselves in the stories they read - the big stories and the quiet ones - and that they are left holding onto hope.
Because hope is everything and it's stories that will change the world.