Toni Grant is an Australian author and screenwriter based on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Born and raised on the land, Toni spent her childhood exploring the reaches of their sugar cane property in North Bundaberg.
As a young adult Toni could be found by the water and within nature, where her curiosity in healing our bodies through food, creativity and the mystic sciences grew.
“Writing began as a personal challenge,” Toni says. “I was curious. Could I actually write a novel? I set a twelve month deadline. My first book began as a dream when we were on holidays.
That’s why you’ll find a dream sequence in every one of my books. Apart from the creative outlet, I discovered writing fictional stories provides a way to process feelings.”
Toni writes suspense. Her stories are for lovers of thrilling action, exotic locations and dramatic characters. Her current series is centred on Detective Francesca Salucci.
In 2020 Toni expanded her passion for learning and healing through the inner work practices of yoga, breath work and meditation.
“Learning more about these ancient practices opened my mind so much,” Toni says. “In a way, you could say writing allows energy to move through me, without getting stuck. That’s got to be good, right?”
A graduate of the University of Queensland, Gatton College, Toni worked in the NFP, environment, health, government and publishing sectors.
Shortly after finishing university, she moved interstate with her new husband, where they lived and worked in outback communities. Two children, three beloved dogs and a menagerie of farm animals later, Toni returned to her home state in 2020. She now lives by the beach.
A passion for wellbeing led Toni to expand her story telling skills to local community projects.
“I’m fascinated when creative output embraces science. In particular, projects that help audiences grasp important social messages. The art science interface is critical. It’s magical.” Toni says.
“For example, the BRAINSTORM project with Black Box Creatives in Dubbo in 2018. We explored the relationship between teenage behaviour and scientific research on the teenage brain. The original play was written in the UK by Company Three. It was a privilege to adapt Brainstorm to portray our western NSW youth.”
“Creating a focus on recovery outcomes in mental health through art is truly rewarding. During 2016 the Pen to Power exhibition utilised mind mapping techniques to plot emotions and find individual solutions to aid in the recovery of mental and physical trauma. We all gained so much through that process. The results were truly magical.”
When she’s not writing, Toni can be found on the yoga mat, at the beach, browsing vintage shops, architecture magazines or with pen in hand, mind mapping.
Spurred on by her passion for history and adventure, Toni travelled to Italy in 2019 to research aspects of her fictional organised crime series, Serpent. As a consequence, the award winning book, The Trouble with Serpents leans heavily on the ongoing political themes in Italy and the nuances of beliefs and traditions, and what it means to be family. Previous books in the series are Serpent Song and Serpent Sting.