Ann Walker was born on a farm in the English Midlands, the eldest child in an animal loving family. All her life she has been surrounded by animals; dogs, cats, ponies, birds. Even at boarding school there were animals.

Her first published work was an article on Spotted horses in the British magazine PONY. As a free-lance journalist she wrote on many subjects but her first full-length book was on Cats, published by Colin Venton and called GUIDE TO CATS, this was followed by YOUR CAT published by Collins in their 'All You Need to know in a Nutshell' series.

After working in Wales, Paris, London and Oxford she married a farmer and life once more was filled with animals.

In 1968 she and her husband moved to Tasmania with 3 children, a cat and a dog. Leaving behind their large animal family was a huge wrench but by the time the family moved again, to mainland Australia in 1972, the famous Keysoe Donkey Stud had been formed, the story of the founding of the stud is told in the book A JOY OF WILD ASSES.

Continuing her free-lance journalism, Ann wrote widely for various magazines in Australia, England and America and at the suggestion of one of her editors wrote AUSTRALIAN DONKEYS which tells the history of donkeys in Australia as well as documenting their rise in popularity.

The animal family continued to grow and in the 1980s Ann wrote a popular monthly column on animals called TALK WITH THE ANIMALS. From this came another full length book by the same name published in Australia by Nelson. This also sold in Scandinavia in Norwegian and Swedish translations. In this book Ann first explored the exciting possibilities of actually communicating with our animal friends. Nelson followed this with the publication of another cat book, CATS COMPANY.

Ann also wrote on other subjects that intrigued her, developing psychic powers in THE INTUITIVE JOURNEY and LIVING TAROT, both of which were published in Australia first and then in England by Capall Bann.

For twenty years Ann was in business, first with a saddle shop and then with a bookshop specialising in New Age material.

Many workshops and groups were held at the New Age Bookshop, Ann taught Tarot and conducted workshops herself as well as having many visiting psychics. Animals were still of supreme importance; on the staff of the bookshop was Tara, a Siamese cat. Out of her growing conviction that animals are no different to us, they feel and think and above all are spiritual beings came the book THE MYSTIC LIFE OF ANIMALS published by Capall Bann in England and the more practical YOUR TALKING PET, And How To Answer Back published in both Australia and England.

With her children all grown, and retirement from active business life, Ann was able to devote more time to her other love, writing fiction. As Louise Pakeman she has now had 12 novels published and a collection of short stories. Animals often feature in her books and two of the stories in TIME AWAY (published in Australia by Ginninderra Press) are about a cat and a dog. Download and read the title story from this collection.

Read the short story - Time Away

Ann lives in Rural Victoria with a large family of cats, dogs and Bantams and a very small pony. She now has 12 novels published, 2 as audio books. Her last non- fiction book, THE POWER OF THE CAT, is autobiographical, tracing her life through some of the cats who figured prominently in it, and influenced it. A delightful blend of autobiography and cat personalities who exerted their own power. Illustrated with photos. Cover and all colour photos taken by Ruth Walker