picture of the author of the travelling stone series of books michelle mckenzie
michelles desk with her watercolor paint brushes in a jar
close up on michelles hand painting watercolor art

Michelle McKenzie

Since she was young, Michelle has been writing and illustrating for her own enjoyment. A former teacher, now a wife and mother of two, she draws her inspiration from her family travels as they explore the world while educating their children.

She has always loved the excitement of arriving in a new location; the beginning of a new adventure! Travelling and seeing the world through her child’s eyes has fuelled this love of exploration. Michelle hopes to capture and convey this experience through playful writing and whimsical illustrations. In writing The Travelling Stone series, Michelle hopes to inspire both young and old to travel the world and see each new experience with child-like wonder.

Michelle loves breakfast buffets, finding a good bookshop and anything to do with Christmas!

An interview with Michelle McKenzie

The Travelling Stone idea was born by my Mum, out of Melbourne during a long covid lockdown. She wanted to create a book for her grandchildren who loved travelling (I bet you can guess who those two children are), creating a handwritten and illustrated series of short travel stories. When restrictions eased, Grammy (as she is affectionately known) visited Piper and Lachie, reading one story each night before bed. I found myself sitting on the floor, listening to the stories as my imagination ran wild! Not long after I began writing The Travelling Stone – France, inspired by my Mum’s original stories and our own travels through the beautiful country.

My childhood favourites were always fantasy books, the possibilities are endless and I wanted to create this feeling of magic for children reading my stories. I love travelling with our children as I get to see the world through their eyes and feel so
much excitement at the diversity of our planet. I wanted to capture this in my books and inspire others to feel this awe for the world we live in.

Each book is inspired by real-life events, as we travel the world with our two children. For example, the Marionettist character in The Travelling Stone- France was inspired by seeing a real street performer in Colmar. The places I include in the books are always places I have visited. It needs to be this way for me to get a true feel for a location and hence write about it.

Most people love to travel, but it’s not always easy to do. The Travelling Stone allows the reader to feel like they are right there beside Lachie eating a Nutella crepe, or feeling Piper’s excitement as she sees her dollhouse in a real life house. It transports them to another place.

They are fun and whimsical, combining real life and fantasy. I hope that people feel a sense of adventure and child-like wonder when they travel the world with Piper and Lachie in The Travelling Stone.