While successful in both Australian short story and Press feature-writing competitions, as well runner-up in the Fletcher Challenge Commonwealth Media Awards, Amy's first love is writing for children.
One of nine children from a Celtic and French background, she majored in Latin and English from the University of Otago, where she was literary editor of Critic, the student newspaper. A secondary language teacher, married to a medical practitioner, she lived for a while on the edge of the strangely remote and singularly beautiful Mackenzie country, whose influence can be traced in Night of the Medlar and its sequels.
In a former life, Amy was a debating and public speaking champion, turning down an opportunity to host an inaugural women’s television show, and later, an invitation to become a political reporter for TVNZ, to care for four sons and her Latin pupils. However she reviewed both within New Zealand and Australia for The Press, National Radio, and other publications. An award-placed Dominion columnist for seven years, writing under the former, longer version of her name as Agnes-Mary Brooke, she specialised in education and socio-political critiques. She contributed to the Christchurch Press, the Taranaki Daily News and wrote regular pieces for varied media before she published her own magazine, The Best Underground Press - Critical Review, distributed for two years nationwide before going on-line.
An occasional television commentator, Amy also provided regular weekly comment for Canterbury on Air. She has published poetry, founded The Medlar Press and the now annual Founders Park Book Fair in Nelson. She launched and has run for a decade a hugely successful annual conference in the Marlborough Sounds. The Summer Sounds Symposium, attended by outstanding speakers from across the spectrum, includes leading academics, senior media, members of parliament, industry and business leaders in New Zealand and overseas, and has become a fixture on the political/academic landscape. The latter has now morphed into the 100Days - Claiming Back New Zealand movement - www.100days.co.nz working towards reversing the hijacking of our democracy by the political parties in recent years.
At present Amy publishes an on-line journal, and writes a regular monthly column for INVESTIGATE magazine, for which she is also Poetry Editor. Her first collection of poetry- Deep Down Things -attracted strong critical support in Quadrant from the award-winning Australian writer and poet, Hal Colebatch.
From these, and her other undertakings, Amy Brooke selects her writing for children as her most satisfying and favourite activity – a magical world of enduring pleasure. She lives in the countryside out of Nelson, surrounded by the birds and animals she loves, with nineteen books for children, young readers, their parents and grandparents published to date - as listed below. Her sequel to Scorpio Rising, the second of the trilogy beginning with the extraordinary Who will speak for the Dreamer? set between Nelson, New Zealand, and the countryside of Kent and the far north of England, is due to be published in 2012.