Michelle was born in Sydney, Australia. She grew up in Fiji and country New South Wales, then went to university in Sydney. She worked as a speech and language pathologist for fifteen years, helping students with learning problems. Michelle liked this job a lot. She got to watch students improve their literacy skills and become happier, more confident learners - also, she got to work in an office covered in Harry Potter posters and give herself smiley stamps when she did a good job.
THE RAGE OF SHEEP, her first book, won a mentorship with the Children's Book Council of Australia. THE RAGE OF SHEEP was published in paperback by Random House Australia in 2007, with an ebook edition released in 2012.
Michelle's second novel, A BRIEF HISTORY OF MONTMARAY, was published by Random House Australia in 2008, with an audiobook released the same year by Louis Braille Audio. The novel was awarded the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and was shortlisted for the Gold Inky, Australia's teenage choice book award. A BRIEF HISTORY OF MONTMARAY was published in North America by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers in 2009, and was named in the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults list. An audiobook of the North American edition was published in 2010 by Listening Library, and a Vintage Classics paperback edition was released in Australia in 2012.
THE FITZOSBORNES IN EXILE, the second book in The Montmaray Journals trilogy, was published in Australia in 2010, as a paperback and audiobook. It was shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature (NSW Premier's Literary Awards) and the Western Australian Premier's Young Adult Book Award, longlisted for the Gold Inky Teenage Choice Award and named a Notable Book for Older Readers by the Children's Book Council of Australia. The book was published in North America in 2011 as a hardcover, ebook and audiobook, and was listed in the Best Teen Books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews and in the American Library Association's 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults.
THE FITZOSBORNES AT WAR, the final book in The Montmaray Journals trilogy, was published in Australia and New Zealand in April, 2012 and in North America in October, 2012. The film and television rights to The Montmaray Journals have been optioned by a US production company.
Her latest book is DR HUXLEY'S BEQUEST, which will be published internationally as a paperback and ebook in November, 2017.