New Zealander Anne Ingram is the author of the Lucy Bee series, a trilogy that follows heroine Lucy from the age of 10-15 through the many challenges and adventures she faces while growing up.
From a very young age, Anne loved reading and has wanted to write stories for as long as she can remember. She’s worked as a journalist, a teacher, a librarian, an editor, and even had her own children’s bookstore – all jobs involving reading and writing.
She was inspired to write the first Lucy book, Lucy Bee & the Secret Gene, when young readers would come into her bookstore wanting stories about their own lives, their school, their friends. Anne lives in Kapiti and there was a lot going on in the district at that time. In the book, ten-year-old Lucy faces some troubling challenges. Does she really belong in the Bennett family? With the help of her friend Megan, she goes on a gene hunt seeking to confirm her identity through the means of a science fair project.
Because Anne has lived in several different countries, some of her novels reflect the settings and issues found in those parts of the world. Her first novel, Sea Robbers, an adventure about modern day pirates, was written when she lived in Singapore as were her collections of Asian folktales – Golden Legends of Korea, Golden Legends of the Philippines and Golden Legends of Korea.
For a number of years, Anne spent her summers on a canal boat in France, travelling through little villages on the canals. This experience led her to write the second Lucy Bee novel, Bonjour Lucy Bee. Lucy, now 12, is expecting a fun family holiday but instead becomes embroiled in a thrilling and risky adventure after taking on the responsibility of looking after a young refugee.
And the third title in the trilogy, Lucy & Soline, begins when Lucy’s family are hosting French exchange student, Soline, who, familiar with her own French history, awakens Lucy to her New Zealand history, which, on a subsequent visit to France, leads to Lucy’s discovery of a forgotten heritage, and paves the way to an exciting career.
Anne is an ardent believer in the importance and joy of reading for children (and adults), and has been involved in a number of community projects that promote reading: as coordinator of the annual Kapiti Children’s Book Festival; convenor of the popular Mastermind competition for Kapiti Schools; host of a weekly radio programme for children, and Chair of a children’s writers’ charitable trust whose purpose is to support and encourage writing for children.