Close up face shot of Belinda Alexandra, blonde shoulder-length wavy hair smiling at the camera. The image is a circle with deep green leaves on the background.

I am the author of ten bestselling novels, a non-fiction book about women and cats, The Divine Feline: A Chic Cat Lady’s Guide to Woman’s Best Friend and my latest book non-fiction/memoir, Emboldened: On Finding the Fire to Keep Going When All Seems Lost.

My books have been published around the world including the United States, Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Hungary and Poland.

I was fortunate to grow up in a beautiful part of Sydney, among ancient trees and abundant wildlife and to have parents - one Russian, one Australian - who gave me the freedom to let my imagination run wild.

My journey to becoming a published writer is not a tale of overnight success.

I conjured up stories in my head as I reveled in the natural world around me or lay on my back on the grass and watched the clouds float by. Thanks to my parents I have a fascination with other cultures, world history, and why people do the things they do. I also inherited the ‘storytelling gene’ from them. My mother would hold my brothers and me in awe as she told us stories of Old Harbin in China, where she had been born into the Russian community, while my father would make us laugh at his stories of a youth spent as a volunteer lifesaver on Bondi Beach.

My journey to becoming a published writer is not a tale of overnight success, however. I spent most of my student years travelling and my friends would compliment me on my vivid letters and emails. ‘You should be a writer!’ they said.

For the next ten years everything I wrote was rejected. But I persisted.

But like most people with a creative dream, I followed the advice to get a ‘real’ job. I met wonderful people and had fun while working in those ‘real’ jobs, but it always felt as if my soul was sad and that I wasn’t fulfilling my true purpose. It was only after attending the University of California to complete my undergraduate degree that I was inspired enough by the other big dreamers around me to finally go for mine.

Things did not happen quickly! For the next ten years, everything I wrote was rejected. But I persisted. I can’t say that it was because I had incredible confidence in myself and knew that one day I would be published. It was just what I had to do. After one novel was rejected by every publisher in Australia, I went to lick my wounds in New York, where I had accepted a job with a conference company. Writing at 4 am on cold winter mornings, on planes, subway trains, and in airports, I finished the book that was to change everything: White Gardenia.

That book was sold in an auction between major publishers and resulted in a contract for a two-book deal. A dream! Finally, I was to be a published author. The rest, as they say, is history.

So here I am, twelve books later!

I currently live in Sydney, Australia, with my three black cats, Valentino, Versace and Gucci, and a garden full of the beautiful Australian wildlife I love so much. When I’m not writing, I enjoy flamenco and belly dancing, playing the piano and attempting to wrap my tongue around foreign languages. I am passionate about animal welfare and am an active member of several animal charities.

Oh, and yes, I do pinch myself every day too!

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‘Reading her novels is like going on holiday for a long time. You don’t want to come back.’ — West Australian