About Michael Panckridge
Inspired by his passion for sport and desire to get reluctant readers engaged in books, Michael Panckridge put his mind to the job of creating a series of engaging, fast-paced sporty books. Books for kids who, let’s be honest, would probably rather be out there playing the game, than reading about it! That was Michael as a boy.
Growing up, all Michael needed at hand was a bat or ball (depending on the season!) but as the son of an author, librarian and English teacher and thus living in a household filled with books, it wasn’t long before he was caught up in a world of stories.
These stories are now some of Australia’s most popular children’s books.
His acclaimed Legends and Anniversary Legends series (Black Dog Books) have sold well over 100,000 copies and are a testament to his passion for sport and uncanny understanding of children and schools and in particular what kids, including reluctant readers, want to read.
Michael has collaborated with some of Australia’s most illustrious sports people, something he just loves to do! Hanging out with Australian fast bowler Brett Lee resulted in the five book Toby Jones (HarperCollins) series, where fantasy meets sport in a tale of cricket and time travel. Former Australian Rugby League captain and now New South Wales State of Origin coach Laurie Daley joined Michael to develop the League of Legendsseries – a three book sporting adventure series; fun and tough like Lozza himself.
But it’s not all about sport! With Pam Harvey, Michael co-authored the Clued Up 6 series – a collection of six novels based around the adventures of a group of friends living in a country town.
And then there are his sinister, mystery thrillers. The Cursed, The Vanishings and The Immortal (Black Dog Books) are real adventure stories with a dash of horror and fantasy thrown in for good measure. Ghosts and trains, everlasting life and people buried alive are just the beginning.
Michael’s current projects include a cricket series for Penguin centred around the hugely popular WBBL and BBL cricket competitions. He has also just released Be Bully Free – a book aimed at helping young people deal with self esteem, image and bullying situations – another cause close to his heart.
He’s also pondering a creepy, spooky horror series of books; a book about a boy who discovers that he has only 63 hours to live and of course… more sporty books!
Here are some FAQs! Hope you find what you’re looking for, but if not… you’re welcome to click here
What did you study at uni?
I studied to become a teacher, and majored in music, psychology and a bit of sport too!
What was your best subject at school?
P.E. and sport – and I liked maths too.
What other jobs have you had?
I’ve been a music teacher, sports teacher, primary teacher, secondary teacher, choir and orchestra conductor.
Who is in your family?
I have two daughters – Eliza, who is 21 and Bronte, who is 19.
What countries have you travelled to?
I lived in Wales for a year when I was 9; I’ve also been to Denmark, Sweden, the USA, India, France and Italy.
What is your favourite place to go?
Onto a windy path in a dense forest with the smell of the ocean not far away. If you know the spot, let me know where it is! My local library is another fav spot. Bed is good for reading too. The couch and a spot of sport on the television. There’s a chair in my front garden that catches the morning sun which is also pretty special.
How old are you?
Is it really important that you know the answer to this question?
What is your favourite…
My footy cards / reading / watching films / watching sport / running / writing (in no particular order!)
Sport on Foxtel
The beach in Winter
What does your work day usually involve?
I walk to school; get myself organized; hopefully teach kids heaps of stuff; have the odd meeting; coach soccer after school – go home and think about writing! Then maybe write…
What time do you start work?
What is the best thing about your job?
The children – they are soooo fun to be with.
What is the worst thing about your job?
The school bell – I’m always running late and the school bell just keeps reminding me of that!
Is your job difficult?
No – I don’t find it that difficult; I really like working with children and they seem to like me teaching them. It’s fun!
What is the inspiration for your books? Why did you become an author?
I write about kids and I write for kids and I work in a place where there are heaps of kids (except at night) so I guess children are the inspiration for my writing. Also, I didn’t really like reading much as a kid; I just wanted to play footy…. But I loved reading about sporty things. So I hope that my books are inspiring kids who mightn’t like reading … to READ!!!
What is your favourite book?
Anything written by Roald Dahl I love – I think he’s my writing hero!
Where do you get your ideas from?
I lie in bed at night and play movies in my head. I enter this fantasy world that I’m creating and watch the story take its course. I guess my ideas also come from the real world and what I see and hear…