Trudi Canavan was born in Kew, Melbourne, on the 23 October 1969, and grew up in Ferntree Gully, a suburb at the foothills of the Dandenongs. Her early interests were creative: primarily art, writing and music. Choosing art as the interest most likely to generate an income, she completed an Advanced Certificate in Promotional Display at the Melbourne College of Decoration, receiving an additional award for Highest Aggregate Mark in Art Subjects for 1988.
Her first employer was Lonely Planet Publications, where she worked as a designer, illustrator and cartographer. In 1993 she accepted a temporary position at Oxford University Press Australia as a promotional designer and was retained as permanent staff.
In 1995 she started The Telltale Art, a freelance business offering illustration, cartography and graphic design services. Her clients have included numerous Australian publishing companies, including Lonely Planet Publications, Pan MacMillan, Reed Education and HarperCollins.
Also in 1995, she began working for Aurealis, a magazine of Australian Fantasy and Science Fiction. In addition to her main role as art editor, involving the design of the magazine and exhibition displays and the commissioning of art, she has read manuscripts, created web pages and stuffed envelopes. In 2004, after nine years, she resigned from the position.
Starting The Telltale Art enabled her to begin writing part time. In 1999 she won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story with "Whispers of the Mist Children". In the same year she was granted a writers residency at Varuna Writers' Centre in Katoomba, New South Wales.
In 2001 HarperCollins Australia bought The Black Magician Trilogy, releasing the first book, The Magicians' Guild, in November of that year. The second book of the trilogy, The Novice, was published in June 2002 and was nominated for the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. The third book The High Lord was released in January 2003 and was nominated for the Best Novel Ditmar category. All three books entered Australian top ten sf bestseller lists.
The Black Magician Trilogy reached the international market in 2004, published by HarperCollins' EOS imprint in North America and Orbit Books in the UK. The trilogy is now rated by Neilsen BookScan as the most successful debut fantasy series of the last 10 years, and in 2006 had sold over 275,000 copies in all editions.
Trudi's second trilogy, Age of the Five, has also enjoyed bestselling success. Priestess of the White reached No.3 in the Sunday Times hardback fiction bestseller list, staying in the top ten for six weeks.
In early 2006 Trudi signed a seven-figure contract with Orbit to write the prequel and sequel to The Black Magician Trilogy. The prequel, The Magician's Apprentice will be released in early 2009.
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