About Glenda

Glenda was born in Western Australia, the daughter of a farmer. She was educated at the University of Western Australia, where she obtained a degree in history and a diploma in education. Married to a Malaysian scientist, she lived for several decades in Malaysia, including a stint in Borneo, where she was actively involved in rainforest and bird conservation. She has also lived in Austria and Tunisia, but has now settled on the coast of Western Australia, not far from an osprey nest.


And What Glenda Says

When I was a child we lived on a small mixed farm at the foot of the Darling Ranges. I grew up with an early love of reading, and an affinity with wild open spaces and nature. Reading led naturally to writing; I told every one I was going to be an ‘authoress’ and the first novel was started aged about ten…

Unfortunately somewhere along the way that ambition was sidelined, and stayed that way for another 30 years… I became a secondary school teacher.

At twenty-four, I set sail for South-East Asia with a Malaysian husband, no money, but lots of enthusiasm. I learned to tie a sarong, cook with chillies, speak the language, clean squid, make curry, eat politely with the fingers of one hand, get rid of cobras in the house and explore the rainforest.

With a couple of kids and a series of part-time jobs, writing seemed forgotten. I started to develop a passion for conservation and birdwatching. I wrote articles for cash-strapped conservation magazines, and so at last I was truly a writer. In the meantime I taught English – to Malaysian university students, expatriate Japanese adults and Korean kindergarten kids, and later, as my husband’s U.N. job took us still further abroad, to Austrians in Vienna and Tunisians in North Africa.

While we were still living in Vienna, I finally decided I had to get serious about writing fiction…

So I churned out a bad novel. And then a better one. I sent off a fantasy to an agent in the U.K., she loved it and took me on. (That book has now been published by Voyager (Harper Collins Australia) as The Aware , Book One of a trilogy entitled The Isles of Glory.)

In the meantime, we moved to Tunisia where the view from my desk included the ruins of Carthage. I brushed up on my schoolgirl French, taught English to Tunisian engineering students who thought Australia was the promised land, and wrote another novel, with a Judaic-Roman-style background. That has now been published as the first book in The Mirage Makers trilogy.


We returned to Malaysia where I turned more and more to environmental work, earning a living as a field ornithologist. I’ve waded through mangrove swamps, been followed by a tiger and attacked by a king cobra, been caught in a flash-flood and stung by a colony of irate wasps, studied birds on tropical atolls and swum with turtles. I’ve survived an open boat in a tropical thunderstorm and been eaten alive by leeches, mosquitoes, sandflies, ticks, chiggers and things that don’t even have names. Would I do it all again? You betcha! In fact, I still do. My love of the rainforest is boundless, and I feel obligated to do my best to save it.


And all the time, I kept on writing—in tents, at home, on boats and beaches, in swamps and mangroves, in national parks and logging camps, in airports and on planes. My first book, Havenstar, was published in 1999 under my married name of Glenda Noramly. It was set in an unstable, constantly changing world, and received good reviews (you can have no idea of how relieved I was…) It even reached the bestseller list for all books on It was also translated into German and Russian. The feedback from readers was great (thanks everyone!).

Havenstar was followed by three unrelated trilogies: The Isles of Glory, The Mirage MakersThe Watergivers  (outside Australia known as the Stormlord Trilogy) and the latest, The Forsaken Lands trilogy. The next book is a standalone, tentatively titled The Fugitive Queen, still in the process of being written.


Interview with Sara Douglass Series Award Winner — Glenda Larke (Station Stories, 3 May 2016)

Snapshot 2016: Interview with Glenda Larke (The Conversationalist, 8 August 2016)

An interview with Glenda Larke (Orbit, 17 March 2014)

Author interview with Glenda Larke (The Book Plank, 6 March 2014)

Glenda Larke in conversation with Satima Flavell (Specusphere, 1 July 2008)

Falcata Times (PDF, interview on pages 17-19)

Fantastic Women interview by Karen Miller (Karen’s LiveJournal, 6 July 2007)

Interview by Alexandra Pierce (16 August 2007)

Specusphere (4 August 2005)

Diverse books interview by Amy Harlib (24 September 2004)

Orbit UK interview (included in their edition of Song of the Shiver Barrens)


Bio — 7 Comments

  1. Hallo Glenda,
    Ich hab grad dein erstes Buch aus der Inseltrilogie gelesen und möchte mich einfach nur dafür und deine Arbeit für den Urwald bedanken 😉

    Ganz liebe Grüße aus Wien

  2. Pingback: List of Australian Authors (part 2) - Fancyclopedia 3

  3. Dear Glenda

    You won’t remember me I don’t suppose. I was a volunteer for the MNS back in 1995/6 ish and I had the pleasure on spending time with you in the forests, Taman Negara one time. You got me into birding and I would like to thank you for that. After leaving KL we were in HK for several years and then for the last 20 years in France. We are now in Cardiff, Wales. Thanks to you I have had the pleasure of birding in Asia, Europe and Australia, where my daughter and family live.

    I send you my very best wishes.

  4. Hi Mary,
    How lovely to hear from you and wonderful to know that you have enjoyed birding in the same way I have over the years! I’ve often wondered if I have changed how people feel about the joy of birding, the rainforest, conservation and all those other things I have felt passionate about — but I rarely find out, so thank you. Oddly enough I once spent more than a month in Cardiff: I was there staying with family when that volcano erupted in Iceland, and couldn’t leave to come home! If ever you come this way (Mandurah, Western Australia) let me know…nothing I like better than showing people our local birds.

    All the best,

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