JILLIAN SULLIVAN, along with her builder son-in-law Sam Deavoll, built and plastered her strawbale home as part of making a new life in the Ida Valley, Central Otago. Since she'd read about natural houses in the 1970s, Jillian had believed in the possibility of community-built homes. A change in life in her fifties gave her the opportunity to follow her building dream. The author of eleven other books, Jillian has published novels, short stories, a collection of poetry and a book on the creative process, A Guide to Creating. She works at the Maniototo Hospital as a nurse aid, and teaches writing in New Zealand, and in America each year for the Highlights Foundation. Her awards include The Highlights Fiction Award in America, and the Kathleen Grattan Prize for poetry. She has five children and eight grandchildren, many of who were able to help on the strawbale house.