I’ve never thought of myself as much of a writer and was very surprised when the inspiration for a children’s book hit me. Funny enough I had my fortune read once, 13 long years ago in Dublin and the fortune teller, predicted sitting in her dingy flat that one day I would write a book- well, imagine that!

I’ve always enjoyed interacting with children, and found it so much easier than interacting with adults. 9 years ago, I found my passion and stopped working as a Speech Therapist and started teaching 3-4-year olds at a Nursery School.

My book journey started in May 2020 in the epicentre of the COVID pandemic outbreak here in South Africa. I got a call like so many people have during this difficult time, that my husband had lost his job and would be repatriated from Madagascar in a week. We were given no real heads up, no time to plan ahead, just one day he had a job and the next day he didn’t.

To say that the panic set in almost immediately is an understatement and oh boy the tears my word the tears! Needless to say, I gathered my thoughts and poured myself a large glass of wine (thank you Steenberg) and simply sat just staring into space, alone, my mind working so fast that I just couldn’t focus on one thought-what a mess!

And then as if they knew, my two oldest dogs Frankie and Summer came to lie next to me, well Frankie basically lying on top of me staring at me lovingly with her milky eyes, my two old girls so loyal and steadfast. But where was my youngest boy dog Rafferty?? He was sitting on his bed, staring with his whole head up the fireplace looking for lizards, completely oblivious to the fact that his owner, “his mom” was having a moment.

I began to chuckle, the tears stopped, the laughter continued and the memories of all Rafferty’s funny moments looking for and hunting lizards, birds, spiders anything at all that did not belong in “His Garden” all came flooding back and the story of “Rafferty’s Adventures- In The Garden” just poured out of me! It was an incredibly cathartic experience and man what a ride it’s been so far!

Carla Hammond lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband Rob and their three absolutely crazy but completely perfect dogs, Frankie, Summer and Rafferty. Before she started writing her new children’s book series Rafferty’s Big Adventures, Carla received her BSC in Speech Pathology at the University of Cape Town in 2005. To shake things up after five years of practicing as a Speech Therapist, Carla found her passion for education. She became a Nursery School Teacher, teaching 3-4-year olds for ten years. Carla now writes full time and is always on the look out for her next big adventure!