PennyI was born in Toowoomba but grew up in the small town of Emerald in Central Queensland. I’ve always enjoyed being creative with painting being my primary outlet. As I was growing up I also wrote a lot of stories and in particular enjoyed making up musicals that included my friends and popular songs of the time.

When the time came to choose a university course I was torn between studying Fine Arts or Astrophysics. A mentor suggested if I studied science I would always have a job and I would always be able to keep the other as my hobby.

I am now a full professor at Bond University on the Gold Coast and teach computer game design, programming and animation. Not such a far cry from where I started as these domains bring together the visual elements of art I love so much with the challenges of science and mathematics.

Combining my love of teaching and writing I have written four books. Three of these are textbooks, my latest Holistic Game Development having been an international best seller for which there is now a Korean translation.

I have also written a commentary on the viability of the technology portrayed in Star Trek. The book makes science fact accessible in layman’s terms and discusses how the artificial intelligences of Gene Roddenberry’s imagination could someday become a reality.

During my academic career I have been awarded numerous international and national teaching and research awards including a Queensland Government Smart State award and Australian Government Teaching Excellence award.

The fiction writers that influence me the most are Douglas Adams, Linda la Plante, Mark Billingsham and Michael Crichton. This interesting mix of crime, police procedurals and science fiction is where I feel my genre fits. The way that Crichton, through many of his books, weaves science and technology fact into a believable story makes science accessible to everyone in an immersive and engaging manner. I want to continue his legacy using my research and teaching skills to present and explore the future of all science and technology have to offer and deliver it to an audience who might not otherwise have access to it.

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