Lorraine de Kleuver and her husband Co moved to Hoppers Crossing from Carlton nearly 20 years ago and quickly embraced life in suburbia. Now, the 60-year-old is a nurse by day and moonlights as an author. Lorraine and Co like to spend time researching new material for her stories by sailing around Port Phillip Bay in their boat, Purrfect. She tells Charlene Macaulay the full story.

What’s your connection to Wyndham?

We moved here in 1998. We built our house in Hoppers Crossing, and by golly, the area’s grown now.

We lived in Carlton previously, and on weekends we always wanted to get out of the city, and we always took the Princes Highway, and went to either Geelong, or Queenscliff, or Portarlington.

It was during those drives that there were billboards (for Hoppers Crossing), and they had some terrific house and land packages. We will also have one of the apartments at Wyndham Harbour.

You’ve just released your second book  The Adventures of Felix and Pip – The Missing Baby Dragon. Tell us about the series.

The main characters are Felix the water rat, and Pip the dog. The series that I plan to do is based around Port Phillip Bay – it starts in Werribee South and Eastern Beach, and I’d like to have a story in Portarlington.

The one that I’m working on now is set at Queenscliff. The community is a bit divided at the moment because of the stingrays at the marina – crowds drive up just to see them.

This story is not political, but it does involve the stingrays. It has Pip and Felix putting on wetsuits and snorkels and all the rest of it.

I have fun with all the illustrations. They’re local stories … it’s basically us, going to different places and looking around and seeing where we could make a story.

When do you fit in the time to write?

Since I’ve been doing it, I’ve been going to bed at 2am! You can get lost in writing. Anything that you have a passion for … time seems to not be relevant.

It’s come about because I’m working part-time, and I have a bit more time.

What’s it like for you to see your stories published?

It’s a real kick. I love the process of it … and the final product. I think I get more of a thrill when people actually buy it … once somebody asked me to sign it, and I didn’t know what to do!

How did you and your husband, Co, meet?

We met through work in West Gippsland. We got engaged after three months, married a year later and we’ve been married for 33 years.

Co has three children, they’re adults now and they’re married and have got kids of their own.