Vicki Simpson spent her childhood on a farm outside Marton. She trained as a primary school teacher like many children’s writers, and then discovered she didn’t want to teach. This realisation led to a varied career including jobs as an apple picker, debt collector, editorial assistant and winery tour organiser,
After 20 years in Auckland, Vicki escaped with her family to the Kapiti Coast. The inspiration behind Yo, Shark Bait! came from one of the fishing trips out on her husband’s boat. When Vicki caught a 99 kilogram hammerhead shark in the ladies’ Whakatane fishing tournament the idea for a story formed in her head and the first rough draft appeared about a year later. Thanks to the NZSA mentoring scheme and David Hill’s fantastic patience, that draft transformed into the story that won the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award in 2006.