I was born in England and emigrated to Australia. I think the main influences on my writing were my teenage years and studying modern languages (French and Spanish) at Oxford. I love languages and words: to learn a foreign language is to enter into a love affair with a country and its culture. It is to become a different person and begin to think in a different way. Coming to Australia brought me closer to Japan, a country I had been interested in for many years. Australia has many links with Japan, and is in the same time zone, though a different hemisphere. Being an Australian means being between West and East and living in a society that has formed itself out of many different and contradictory elements. I identify with this.