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Sonya Spreen Bates is a writer and author living in Adelaide, South Australia. She writes for adults and children and her most recent published works include her debut adult novel Inheritance of Secrets (HarperCollins Australia 2020) and a middle grade high interest/low reading level novel Oh Brother (Orca Book Publishers 2020). 

Born in Iowa City, USA, Sonya grew up in Victoria, Canada. She studied for a BSc in Linguistics at the University of Victoria before moving across the country to study Speech-Language Pathology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has worked in paediatric speech pathology for 30 years, first in rural British Columbia, and then in Adelaide, South Australia where she moved in 1997, and currently does part-time contract work in clinical education.


Sonya started writing when her children were young and had her first children's book published in 2003. Her debut adult novel was published in 2020 and was shortlisted for the inauguaral Banjo Prize in 2018 as an unpublished manuscript. It was also shortlisted in the Davitt Awards 2021 for Best Debut Crime Novel. Sonya's children's novels have received many commendations from CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens, and Oh Brother was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award in 2020.

When not writing or reading, Sonya loves to travel, and hopes to get back to it soon. She has two grown-up daughters (who thankfully live not too far away) and lives in Adelaide with her husband, her devoted golden retriever and a very grumpy cat.


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