Anda_beachHello, my name is Rachel. I find it hard to think of myself as an author or illustrator and if I am it’s an unexpected consequence of visiting the Philippines. I live in Lincoln in the UK and my day job is Communications Officer for the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Back in 2009 I visited one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots: the Philippines. It wasn’t for a holiday but was as part of an exchange programme organised by Rotary International District 1270 (UK) and District 3820 (Philippines).

On these 7,107 islands there are thousands of species that are found nowhere else in the world. Despite only seeing a few of these animals whilst I was there; glimpsing just a little of this diversity of life sparked my imagination. As I learnt more about the animals; they began to tell me their stories and I wrote them down. I also re-discovered my love of drawing and started cutting up hand-painted papers and making collages.

For most of us, our first encounters with wild animals are in the stories we read as children. Perhaps these stories will inspire in a few of the readers, a lifelong interest in wildlife and conservation.

I’m an honorary member of the Rotary Club of West Bay, Laguna, Philippines.