author bio - Shelley Cass
Funnily enough, I was not always a natural writer let alone author. I was terrible at maths, and was such a dunce with reading and writing that I had to do special programs (I stayed down in PREP!) to help my five year old self catch up.
My sister made sure I knew the funny little shapes that made up the letters to my name, but I was otherwise the child who stared out the window, coloured the pictures rather than solving the activity sheet problems, and asked questions that had already been answered.
Thanks to my miraculous childhood teachers, and my persistent mother, I went from drawing squiggles and mumbling/fake reading when it was my turn to read aloud in class ... to devouring picture books and everything beyond.
I remember groaning every time mum made me sound out each word, reading each excruciating sentence over and over and feeling like I was never going to get it. I also remember feeling like the school library was a barrier, a place to feel embarrassed and jealous, until one day all of that practice seemed to make sense. I hadn't even realised it was happening until I half-heartedly-picked up 'Green Eggs and Ham' and realised I didn't have to fake read it - even on my own.
I can't explain the shift in who I was at that moment. I was no longer the kid who was stuck. I was the kid who had proud parents, and who was given a whole Dr. Seuss book set to celebrate.
I was the kid who came to rely on books for an escape from high school and who started writing for myself.
I was also the kid who was never cured of the maths issues though. This isn't a fairy tale after all.