Meet Sally Murphy, Author Fly In Fly out Dad

Fly-In Fly-Out Dad is a story about family togetherness, with a focus on how one family manages this in spite of Dad being a FIFO worker. The boy in the story loves having Dad home, but wishes he would stay home. Dad senses this, and makes the most of their time together, as well as reassuring him before he leaves again.  Really, I think this is a story that is both for FIFO families, but also just a message about the bond between dads and their kids.

Author Sally Murphy has authored 37 books! Her previous titles include The Floatingest Frog, Head Hog, Pearl Verses the World, Roses are Blue and Toppling.

Sally is a mother of six children (all in their teens and twenties now) and a Granny of one gorgeous 2 year old named Evan. She was a teacher for many years and is now fortunate enough to be a full time author and PhD student. Of course, when you have teenagers,  you are also a full time mum – she spends a lot of time taxiing her sons around to sport, part time jobs, school activities and so on.

Sally mostly writes when her children are at school, but always carrys a notebook and a book so that she can work anywhere.

Sally believes (as do we) that reading to and with kids is super important. Story time is not just a chance to educate, it is also a time for bonding. When kids have warm and positive experiences of reading with adults, they grow in many ways. So for this week's Story Time find a compfy spot, cuddle up and enjoy the 5-minutes of time together while listening to Fly In Fly out Dad.

LRR: How long have you been writing for?
SM: All my life really, but my first book was published 18 years ago.

LRR: Why children’s books? How did you start?
SM: Children’s books were my first love. My earliest memories are to do with books and being read to by my mum. As I grew up, I always wanted to be a writer, and it was always stories for children that I loved. When I left school I discovered that it was harder to get published than I thought, so I trained as a teacher, but I didn’t ever stop writing and trying to get published. When my first book was accepted, it was actually an educational book, so the teaching was a way in to the world of publishing.  

LRR: What age group are your books for?
SM: Most of my picture books are for kids from birth up, though I have also written two historical picture books which are for primary school aged children, and I write novels and verse novels for that age group too.

LRR: How would you describe your writing style?
SM: Eclectic. I write lots of different things – prose, poetry, historical fiction, and some nonfiction too. I think the main similarity is that I like to always be positive in my books, even when I am writing about sad or serious topics. I want to make the world a better place.

LRR: What are the best bits about creating stories and writing for kids?
SM: Everything! It’s a great privilege to make a living doing something you love. Holding a published book in my hands and seeing my work come to fruition is wonderful, but perhaps the best part is when I see or hear from kids who love my books.

LRR: Where do the story ideas come from?
SM: Everywhere. Sometimes from my own experiences, others from things I see or hear. Sometimes I will think on something for months and months before it resolves itself into a story idea.

LRR: Where do you write best? Home, out and about, etc?
SM: I think I work best at home, though I wrote the best draft of my picture book Meet Mary MacKillop on an airplane, and Ido tend to write in all sorts of places. I even drafted a picture book on my phone once because I was out walking when it started to come to me.

Find out more about Sally here
Sally also runs a book review website called Aussiereviews
Twitter @sallymurphy
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