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Photo: Mia Quimpo

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I was born in a country called the Philippines. I like to say I wanted to become a writer from the moment I was born but looking at that baby picture, maybe that wasn't quite true.

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That's me on the left. That's my big sister Joy, who became a rock singer. She bit me when I was a baby. The younger kids are my brother Randy who now directs films and my sister Mia, who is an architect.

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I went to an all girls convent school called St Theresa's College, Quezon City. We wore little blue neckties, navy pleat skirts, and dragged massive wheeled bags full of books. I became famous for decorating blackboards with chalk drawings. I was also the librarian's pet.

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Some baby brothers came along when I was a teenager which is why I have extreme nappy changing skills. Armand on the far left is now an animator and Andre (with the cake) is a teacher.

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I LOVED READING SO MUCH!

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This was me when I was six, the year I realised that words and paragraphs strung together made stories. It was a magical AHA moment! From then on, I began to read everything I could get my hands on!

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I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. 

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I wanted to become an author.

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But how could I become an author? People who looked like me never appeared in books. Clearly, we weren't allowed.

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So I became a journalist instead. I had many adventures!

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At the time, the Philippines was ruled by a cruel dictator. We overthrew him in an uprising known as the People Power Revolution.

In the midst of the revolution, I met an Englishman, who was to become my husband. Can you spot him in the crowd on this magazine cover?

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We moved to London and children started appearing in our house. Three children in all. LOUD children. I found myself changing nappies again.

It was when my children didn't require nappy changing anymore I remembered my long ago dream to write books. I wanted to write fiction for children. I joined an organisation called the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators or SCBWI or Scooby. I thought if I wrote everyday I would soon be published. How hard could it be?

NINE YEARS OF REJECTIONS LATER ...

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I joined a SCBWI competition called Undiscovered Voices and ...

i won!!!

WE WON!!!

AND BEHOLD!

A PUBLISHER SPOKE!

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I want to publish your book!

... AND I BECAME AN AUTHOR.

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