When people first meet Stephanie, they often ask ‘Where are you from?’ because her accent is a little . . . confused.

 

Stephanie’s true accent comes from her native Australia. Growing up in the northern suburbs of Sydney with bushland at her back door, she spent endless days exploring tracks and rocky creeks alongside spiders, slithery things, and the occasional wombat. It was here that she worked on her favourite past-time of daydreaming.

 

At the age of 16, with her head still in the clouds, Stephanie acquired her second layer of accent when she lived in the United States. Spending a year in rural Minnesota as an exchange student, Stephanie discovered her love of snow, embraced her first white Christmas, and learned how to roll a snowmobile. After a year of new experiences including ice fishing and shovelling her way out of the house, Stephanie graduated from Willow River High School and returned to Australia with the title of Prom Queen. (She credits this to the accent.)

 

Back in Sydney, Stephanie lost a little of her Minnesota twang while she continued her education, studying economics at university. Here she met her future husband, whose job took them to London to add the final layer to her accent. Over the following 13 years, Stephanie worked in the banking industry, travelled extensively, got in lots of snow-time, started a family, and perfected her daydreaming.

 

Her first novel, The Twelve Chimes Of Christmas, was inspired by a grandfather clock in an antique shop in Bermondsey, London. Stephanie raised a few eyebrows when she tried to see just how much of her she could squeeze into the clock’s belly.

 

Since returning to Australia, Stephanie has continued to write while working part-time and raising her family. She loves to travel and has now visited over 25 countries.  She hopes to raise this number significantly – and confuse her accent even more.

Stephanie Smith

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