Sally Collings

Where did you grow up/study in Australia?
I grew up in Sydney, the leafy suburban part. Journalism was my goal when I left school, so my first degree was in Communication at UTS (or NSWIT, as it was back then), then I went on to do an MA by distance learning through Murdoch University.

Where are some of the interesting places you have lived around the world?
In my twenties I spent a year in Enngonia, a speck of a town north of Bourke near the NSW-Queensland border. A total contrast to that was the eight years I spent in London; I was drawn to live and work in one of the world's great literary and publishing hubs. Watching the Sydney Olympics on television one cold and rainy morning brought me home ...

Where are you currently living?
Palo Alto, California. My family (husband and two children) and I relocated here late 2012. Two things brought us here: a tech startup business and the desire to take my writing and editing work to the US market. So far I'm loving the buzz and the energy of Silicon Valley.

What do you do?
I write and edit books. I specialize in non-fiction, especially memoir and 'big idea' books (medicine, media, health, popular culture). Before becoming a full-time writer I worked in book publishing for 20+ years, so I also enjoy offering that expertise to people who want to get their own book published.

What's a hidden secret of your city?
The Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo - they have bobcats, raccoons, ferrets, bats, hedgehogs and a giant tortoise, and entry is free (but donations are encouraged!).

What's your favorite cafe/bar/restaurant in your current city?
Very fond of Coupa Cafe - great coffee. It's my office away from the office (I have a home-based business, so that's important).

Describe your adopted hometown/current city in three words.
Leafy, gracious, bikeable.

What do you miss most about Australia when you are overseas?
Family. Tim Tams. The Australian sense of humour.

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