Toni Brisland 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 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 now writes full time for children of all ages and volunteers at The Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and "Books in Homes". Toni is the Vice-President of CBCA NSW and their Sub-branches and Author and Illustrator Liaison Officer and was a previous Director of the CBCA National Board as the NSW Delegate. Toni is also on the SCBWI NSW Committee as the Author and Illustrator Liaison Officer.
Toni has always had a passion for children's literature and would make up stories for her only daughter, Deen, her nieces and nephews and her students. Toni's first novel (unpublished) won the CBCA NSW Aspiring Writers' Competition in 2005. This encouraged Toni to continue writing. Toni is inspired by the children in her life, her animals, her extensive travels and the Australian way of doing things.
Toni’s first published novel DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery is a Sherlock Holmes spoof about a cat and dog detective team and is on the 2012 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Lists for Years 5 – 6 and selected readers in Years 7 – 9. It is also on the 2011 South Australian Premier’s Reading Challenge List for Years 5 – 6. See www.demichat.com The sequel, DemiChat and the Lost Mummy, is to be launched in February 2014 (but is available now on Amazon) and her first Picture Book What Now Baby Bears? was published in September 2013. Her Picture Book The tree House will be published in 2014. Toni has won a number of competitions for unpublished writers and some of her poetry has been published including "What Ocean Will I Breathe" published in "Taking Flight" a Poetica Christie Anthology, 2012.
As well as writing for children, Toni loves reading, animals, walking along beaches and Sydney Harbour, and most importantly looking after her family - her husband and Himalayan cat, Lord Flannery Persephone (the red point, a joyful boy)(Jade, her blue-point and the inspiration of the character DemiChat, passed away on 29 July, 2013). Her daughter, Deen, lives and works in television in Los Angeles.
Toni is available for school visits and festivals: bookings through the Syba Signs Speakers Network. Contact Jodie Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org More information is available from her publicist, Sarah Sheppard of My Marketing Manager, who can organise interviews. Contact Sarah at email@example.com