- About Peter -

I was born in Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, England.

When I was old enough to crawl I was introduced to the wonderful world of gardens, and spent many happy hours eating dirt and wriggly things. Soon I graduated to playing with dirt and every living thing I could find, making up stories and living in my own imaginary world.

Exploring the countryside and wild places, designing gardens, painting and photographing plants and animals, illuminating manuscripts and writing books and stories about imaginary worlds have all become lifelong passions.

I haven't always been a professional writer. I trained originally as an ecologist and educator, then did courses on printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and calligraphy, and was employed in former lives as a natural history curator in a museum, nature reserve warden and high-school science and art teacher.

Having exchanged jobs for a year with an Australian teacher, in 1979, I emigrated 'Down-Under' in 1982 and now live in Stafford Heights, a suburb of Brisbane - Queensland's capital city. There I met my wife, Heather, and we have grown up children.

In 1987 I left my teaching post to write 'The Australian Manual of Calligraphy' for publishers Allen and Unwin. Fortunately it went to several re-prints. In 1988 it was also published by Unwin Hyman in the UK and New Zealand, as 'A Manual of Calligraphy'. At the same time I started a book-arts business, Peter Taylor's Calligraphics, specializing in calligraphy, illumination, papermaking, creative card and artist's book construction, and in teaching the skills involved. One handmade and written book was presented to Her Majesty the Queen as part of her gift from World Expo, and many other prestigious commissions have come my way over the years.

When my children were small I loved making up stories for them, and I realized that in all jobs I've ever had, I've always loved the writing part in particular - museum guides, unusual natural-history facts, simplifying science texts for 'slow learners' and more, so, in 1999, I studied for a Diploma in Professional Children's Writing.

After further developing my writing craft under the mentorship of Marg McAlister, I now spend most of my working life writing and, at every opportunity, public speaking, visiting schools and giving workshops. I hope that my passion for books, writing and reading is infectious, and I now add 'helping people to create their own books' to my list of enthusiasms.

(When I can, I still play with dirt, plants and bugs - landscaping gardens and escaping, whenever it's possible, to enjoy and photograph the great outdoors.)

Ps My great-grandfather was a literary man, but was considered eccentric. My grandparents were 'free-spirits'. Writing about family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances is one of the most valuable things anyone can do. How I wish that more in my family had done so - and you can't start too young. And it's fun. In my talks and workshops I can offer suggestions to get people enthused and started.

I'm going to call my family history 'My Family and Other Lunatics'. You can read about some of them by clicking on this link.