Lizzie and Isla

Lizzie Wilcock was born in Fairfield, NSW, in 1965. She is the fourth of nine children. When she was ten her family bought a dairy farm near Scone, in the Hunter Valley of NSW. City kids became country kids overnight, with only a new pair of gumboots to ease the transition.

The only way Lizzie could get any peace and quiet as a child (and escape from the never-ending chores) was to bury herself in books. Lizzie became an avid reader, but her writing was confined to school tasks.

‘I always wanted to be a writer, but writing seemed so much harder than reading. You had to think and construct and plan and edit. It didn’t sound as enjoyable as reading.’

Lizzie studied at The University of Newcastle (Bachelor of Education) and became a primary school teacher. She has taught in Sydney, Newcastle, Vancouver and Singapore.

Lizzie began writing in 2000, beginning with children’s stories, but only one was ever published. ‘I wrote a fractured fairytale based on The Three Billy Goats Gruff, called The Three Silly Girls Gruff.’ It was published in the NSW School Magazine in 2001.

Lizzie then decided to write for teenagers. She wrote her first Young Adult novel, Losing It, in 2003-2004. She sent it off to publishers and it was immediately contracted for publication by Scholastic Australia. It was released in 2006. Losing It was shortlisted in the Young Adult section of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in 2006.

Lizzie’s second novel, griEVE, was published in 2007. It was shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2008.

Lizzie’s third novel, “Extinction: The Day the World Ended” was released in March 2011. Her fouth novel, “Give Me Four Reasons” was released in July 2011. Her fifth novel – the conclusion to the Extinction Series, “Extinction 2: The Explosive Conclusion” was released in August 2011.

“Thirst” is Lizzie’s sixth novel. It was published in 2015.

Lizzie lives in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, with her husband Phil and daughter Isla.

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34 responses »

  1. Hi Lizzie, I bought my son Josh (10) ‘Extinction’ this week and he has not put it down. This is the first book he has read that has had this effect on him so I am thrilled and so is he. Thanks and congratulations on writing such an enthralling story. Sue

    • Hi Sue
      Thank you so much for your comment. Extinction is my first Adventure story and I am so glad to hear that I have hit the mark with my target audience. Tell Josh that the sequel is going through the final editing process as we speak and will be out in August. Spread the word about Extinction!!!

    • Really? She has my crooked smile, but everything else is exactly like her father. She has my height, though. Or lack of! She won’t get much taller than 5 feet.! I guess you probably won’t either.

  2. Lizzie I loved your books Extinction 1 and 2 I was literally hooked I couldn’t put It down. I am so glad that you started writing!

    • Hi Anna
      Thanks for your comment. i love getting new fans and new fan mail. Tell all your friends about my books and get them to check out the youtube book trailer. Search for “lizzie wilcock extinction series.”
      Lizzie

  3. Hey Lizzie,
    I have just started reading your books and I love them!
    I’m doing a school project and I was wondering what inspired you to write ‘griEVE’ and the ‘Extinction’ series?
    Thanks,
    Hannah:)

    • Hi Hannah
      Thanks for loving my books and for taking time to find my blog. GriEVE was inspired by a dream I had when I was ten and is loosely based on parts of my own experience growing after my mother had died.No, I wasn’t a cutter, but I dealt with my grief in other unsociable ways. Extinction was inspired by a walk along a lonely beach in northern NSW one Sunday. We (my boyfriend aho is now my husband), walked for 8 hours, swimming and having fun and as we came back to our campsite we realised we had not seen another human being all day. I began to wonder if something had happened to the human race and that we were spared for some crazy reason. I jotted down these notes beside the campfire that night and the concept behin Extinction was born!
      Good luck with your school project!
      Lizzie

    • Hi Hannah
      I have just been contracted to write a new novel for ages 9-14. It won’t be released for a few years yet as I have barely begun writing it. I will keep you posted on this blog. You can follow it if you like by clicking on something on the home page. I can’t remember what you have to do exactly, but I am sure you will know.
      Cheers
      Lizzie

    • Hi Chelsea
      Sorry it has taken me so log to reply but I have been busy writing school reports (I am a Year 5 teacher). But hey, thanks for your comments and loving my books. I am currently reading Extinction 1 with my class and they are hooked too. It is a series I am very proud of, as is Give Me Four Reasons. ALl three books were written and edited at the same time so it was nice to switch from writing adventure and danger with Annie and Mac to writing personal issues with Paige. Thanks for writing to me.

      Lizzie

  4. Dear Lizzie
    I’m Lara and I’m in year 5. In class we are reading your book extinction and plan to read the second one. I really love how you’ve described the characters and made them go through time. can’t wait to read the second one, by the way my class was wondering if a movie will ever come out we think that would be awesome.

    Lots of Love
    Lara 🙂

    • Hi Lara
      I would dearly love for my Extinction books to be made into a movie. I think the scenes would be awesome, with special effects as the kids use their powers. Unfortunately there are no plans in the pipeline for them to be made into a movie. But who knows? It just takes one movie producer to see the potential. So fingers crossed that it may happen one day. And you can help by watching the youtube book trailer which you can find by going to youtube and typing in “Lizzie Wilcock Extinction Series”. The more hits it get the more a movie producer is likely to sit up and take notice. Thanks for loving my books and how I described the characters. I teach Year 5 and at the moment we are reading Extinction 1 too. I know my class love it, but sometimes I think it may be just because I can give them the inside knowleedge on the story and the editing process and funny things that happened as I was writing each scene. So it makes it extra awesome when I hear thta another class loves my book. Thanks. By the way, tell your teacher that he/she has awesome taste. Tell them to check this website for the teachers notes I posted. They have all the chapter questions and activities and worksheets that I wrote to accompany the novel if done as a teaching unit. What school are you from?
      warm regards
      Lizzie

  5. My son who has just turned nine has just read Extinction for the third time in a month. He loves it so much he just finished a book report dust jacket of it for a homework project. I was so proud of him and would love to send you a copy, although I am sure you are extremely busy. Thanks for such a great book which has motivated him and keeps him inspired to write his own stories.

    • Hi Jane
      I am so thrilled when I receive comments like yours on my website. Your son is a true fan. And to be reading a novel of that length at the age of nine! He is an excellent reader! I would love to see his dust jacket cover. Perhaps you could send me a digital image to my email address? If he would like this, let me know and I will give you the address. Has your son read Extinction 2? I hope so, as it is an even better book than Extinction 1 – faster paced and more action scenes. I am glad he is motivated and inspired to write his own stories. The world needs stories.
      kind regards,
      Lizzie

      • That would be fantastic. He ended up getting 100% for his cover. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I had forgotten I posted this message. After he had read the first book at school, I went to my amazing local library and borrowed Extinction 2. I left it on the car seat for him to find after school. He was ecstatic!

      • So lovely to hear that your son enjoyed part 2 of Extinction. It is a great thrill for me to get messages like this from mums and dads.
        warm regards

        Lizzie

  6. can you come to Lambton Public. We had Deborah Abela and Aaron Blabey. Please. i also love your book “Extinction”. I am writing a book and it is like yours but firstly they do not go back in time, there are 2 bad guys, 5 sets of twins, Sydney, Newcastle, the world and there is electricity and ice. I love the books. Thankyou.

  7. Hi, I love give me four reasons and I am planning to read grieve and losing it. Do you know if you will be writing anymore books?
    Thanks Alysia

  8. Hey Mrs Beck!! It’s Haylee! I can’t wait for your next book, hope you reply!!! Did you know that you have published eight books so far including kids’ stories? Coincidence? (Extinction reference) <3, your biggest fan, past 5B student, Haylee.

    • Hi Haylee
      Aha! Did Aditi tell you about my “Three Silly Girls Gruff” ? story. I like the 8 coincidence, but alas, I am not up to that number yet. I hope to have a another book started soon, but it will be a long road to publication. Best not to hold your breath waiting.

      love

      Lizzie

  9. Enjoyed your book, Thirst, Lizzie. We have been by bus to Alice Springs across the Plenty highway. Have also driven to Darwin & round Australia, down the west coast. Loved the Big Red sandhill just west of Birdsville. The desert is truly beautiful in places.
    Your book might give ignorant young people an understanding of foster children and the problems they & the families face taking them on here in Australia as adoption is not encouraged. Huge numbers are in limbo being moved from foster home to foster home. It’s good you have focused the spotlight on it.
    As they walked to the west, and I didn’t know how far away from Alice Springs they were from their destination, I looked up on Google all the gorges and waterholes I could find on maps and images of the NT, west of Alice Springs. Your book could inspire students to do the same. teachers could use it this way too.
    One thing you might like to check out is the soft spinifex the children used for their bedding. The spinifex I experienced was prickly. It could scratch the children’s legs as they walked past. I don’t think they’d be very keen to use is for bedding, even if it was under reed woven mats.
    We saw small melons growing wild on our outback adventures. They weren’t very sweet or juicy.
    City kids might find your book fascinating. Alternately, they might say this book is not for them. I loved the outback and found your book worth reading. I am a retired secondary teacher-librarian who has read lots of Australian books for teenagers & pre-teens. Keep writing. We have some excellent Australian authors and Australian young adult books written over my time in my role.

    • Hi Lyndal
      Thanks for reading Thirst and giving me some feedback, especially from a teacher’s point of view. I am a primary school teacher myself, and have some experience with children living in out-of-home-care. You are so fortunate to have recently traveled extensively through central NT. My experience was a few years back now, so hence my friend – the internet- gave me the facts I needed regarding edible flora located in that region. As for the spinifex, it would indeed not be comfortable, but a filler.
      Thanks once again.

      Lizzie

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