I was so excited when I was asked to write four of the Our Australian Girl books, and Rose came to life on my pages quite quickly, as soon as I realised that my era - 1900-1901 and Federation - was also when the suffragettes were campaigning for women to have the vote.

Immediately I knew Rose would get involved somehow, but that she was already a rebel, at odds house rosewith her strict mother who only wanted Rose to be a lady and make a good match for marriage later on. Rose was kept at home with an awful governess, and wanted desperately to learn about all the things her brother was studying at school.

cricket batRose also had a secret passion and talent - playing cricket! She loved bowling spinners, and I thought she had the potential to be better than Shane Warne! The final catalyst for Rose "growing" into a real person and making things happen in the story was realising her determination and bravery, no matter what, and also her desire to help others. Whether that be her brother, who gets bullied at school, or poorer children she sees in the streets.

Rose's family might be wealthy but Rose is not blind - she sees inequality in all walks of life. When her Aunt Alice arrives and joins the suffragette movement, the stage is set for fireworks - of all kinds.

Meet Rose sees the beginning of her rebellion, but part of the challenge is always to see how a character grows and changes, and then changes the people around her. If you read all four Rose cakebooks (and I hope you will!) you can see this happening.

The stories about Rose span a year in her life - it begins with her 11th birthday, and ends with her 12th. Rose was born on 9th May, and this is the day of the first sitting of our first Federal parliament in Melbourne. Of course Rose decides that all the celebrations and fireworks and lights are just for her.


Rose Our Australian Girl covers