Cristy Burne has joint New Zealand and Australian citizenship, has travelled widely and lived for several years in Japan as a teacher and editor. It was during this time that she became fascinated with Japanese folklore and the supernatural yokai - demons - which are very much a part of Japanese culture, but little known outside Japan. Cristy has spent most of her career as a science writer, and currently works for a computing network designed to solve global problems. She won the Voices on the Coast Youth Literature Award for emerging writers, in Queensland, Australia, andTakeshita Demons is her first published book. Cristy and her husband live in Perth, Western Australia.
What a fantastic transformation - how did it all start?
My interest in ICT began when I applied for the role of editor of iSGTW, an e-zine produced out of CERN in Switzerland and Fermilab in the US. Through this position I discovered a whole world of scientific achievement I hadn’t touched in my previous roles as a science writer. e-Science and grid computing were completely new to me, but I loved their potential. I’m now well and truly hooked on ICT and continue to work as a freelance editor for ICT-related projects and papers.
The Takeshita Demons side of things grew from several things: years spent living and working in Japan, experience writing science articles for kids, plus a healthy respect for the power of children’s literature to change attitudes (and the world).
Combining both passions really works for me: my technical brain gets a workout and my imagination stays fired.
Did ICT and technology play an important role in your life?
Very much so. My experience in ICT has opened many doors, bringing new projects, new clients, and an improved ability to run my own business. On a personal note, ICT-related work has sent me around the world, giving me the chance to live in Switzerland and the UK, and to travel to conferences across Europe and the US.
Your advice to girls in regard to be how to be more techy?
l Stay abreast of changes: if a new service launches or a new feature is released, give it a try.
l Ask questions: people love to talk about what they do and one-on-one explanations are a fast way to learn
l Stick your toe in: learn by trial and error, give things a go. You don’t have to be expert on everything, but it helps to know a bit.
Can you reveal something about your future plans?
Baby #2 is due in a fortnight, Takeshita Demons #3 is released in six months, and my latest editing assignment will be finished within the week… It’s a juggle, but I feel I’ve found a great balance between creative work, technical work, and family, plus it really helps to have a supportive partner (and did I mention he’s also in ICT?).
Cristy’s website: http://www.cristyburne.com and blog at http://cristyburne.wordpress.com