About Toni Brisland (nee Antonette Diorio)

Toni Brisland writes poetry and fiction for adults and children. She was born and educated in Wollongong NSW Australia and taught English and History at Figtree High, Kiama High and Merriwa Central before moving to Sydney to take up a teaching and counselling position at De La Salle Brothers Kingsgrove. After further study in management, accounting and law, Toni worked as a senior human resource manager in the public sector and a solicitor and HR Manager in the private sector.

Toni has always had a passion for literature and has won a number of competitions for unpublished children's writers. She is inspired by the people in her life, animals, her extensive travels and the Australian way of doing things. She has been interviewed on radio and local and Brisbane television. Toni wrote full time for children until 2015 when upon advice she commenced (and finished) an historical novel for adults (unpublished) which she threatens she will send to Russell Crowe one day.

Concurrently Toni was writing poetry for adults. Her poems have been published in Anthologies by Poetica Christie Press since 2012. In September 2018 one of her poems will be published in The Heroines Anthology by Neo-Perennial Press.

From 2010 to 2014 Toni volunteered with The Children's Book Council of Australia NSW Inc. in various capacities: Sub-branches and Author and Illustrator Liaison Officer and then as a Director on the CBCA National Board as the NSW Delegate and then Vice-President of CBCA NSW. Toni was also on the SCBWI NSW Committee from 2012 to 2014. She is a Role Model for "Books in Homes" and was a long-standing judge of the Warringah Library Services Young Writers' Competition.

Toni’s first published childrens' novel DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery is a Sherlock Holmes spoof about a cat and dog detective team and was on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Lists for Years 5 – 6 and selected readers in Years 7 – 9, 2012 - 2013. It was also on the South Australian Premier’s Reading Challenge List for Years 5 – 6 at the same time. See www.demichat.com. The sequel, DemiChat and the Lost Mummy, was launched February 2014  and the third and final book in the series was published July 2015, DemiChat and the CIty of Gold (all available on Amazon as eBooks with digital illustrations). Her Picture Books were published by Little Steps Publishing: What Now Baby Bears? (2013), about animals and humans living in harmony; and, The Tree House (2014) about a little disabled girl and her older sister who together dream big dreams. Also published was an article on Cat and Kitten Carnivals in the October 2017 "Blast Off" edition of The School Magazine. Later in 2018/early 2019 a non-fiction book for 9 - 11 year olds on one of Australia's most famous authors will be published by Little Steps Publishing.

Toni loves writing, reading, aqua aerobics and showing her award-winning Siberian cats at the Cat Fanciers' Association Shows (she is a Show Card-writer and Steward and on the Southern Highlands Forest and Allbreeds Cat Show Committee). She likes walking along beaches and Sydney Harbour with her husband and is devoted to her large, extended Italian family. Her daughter, Deen, lives in Los Angeles and is a Producer with CBS Television and Toni visits her often.

Toni is available for school visits and festivals: bookings through the Syba Signs Speakers Network. Contact Jodie Wilson at jodie@sybasigns.com.au  More information is available from her publicist, Sarah Sheppard of My Marketing Manager, who can organise interviews. Contact Sarah at sarah@mymarketingmanager.com.au