The Story of My Books

I grew up in a world of books and stories. I can still picture myself as a young girl, snuggled up in bed at night devouring my books, knowing I had to go to sleep but so captivated that I couldn’t put my book down and turn off the light. Just one more page! Okay, maybe just one more!

Nothing has changed.

As I grew and my tastes changed, I found myself constantly drawn to biographies of strong, fascinating women. For decades, I couldn’t get enough of their journeys, their choices, their fullness. It wasn’t a conscious choice on my part, it was a reflex. I was searching for something. In hindsight, I realised that I was searching for my own role models. I was searching for women that I could relate to and aspire to, beyond my family circle. Fairytales are lovely, and I love to immerse myself in their fantasy, but they are not real. So I read. And I journeyed.

It was a natural progression for me to share my love of books and my search for inspiring, female role models with my children. I have three boys. I write for them. I believe that we need to educate our boys, as well as girls, what it means to have determination, belief in oneself, courage and persistence. What better way to do that, than to provide role models who embody those traits.

So I decided to write a series of books on ‘Inspirational Australian Women’. Books that not only told the stories, but were visually stunning and spoke to a side of children that is ever present, but rarely addressed. Children see and feel and question. They need to be shown, perhaps not the answers, but at least the possibilities.

The stories I am drawn to write, are about real women. Women who have struggled and fought against the limits of the society into which they were born. Yet they are women who have written their own possibilities and believed enough in themselves to make those possibilities, reality.

They are such wonderful, rich stories, that for me, they write themselves.

Cassy Liberman is the author of Fighting For Freedom, an introduction for children to the life of Nancy Wake, and Wildflower: The Life and Art of Ellis Rowan. Cassy is a major patron of the Stella Prize.