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Michelle MacKinnon was born in Masterton, New Zealand, and she lives with her husband, Dr Wayne Hayter, in Palmerston North. She has eleven children, three adopted, four step and four by birth. Since her training as a General and Obstetric nurse, Michelle has been involved in many different vocations from beekeeping, alternative medicine, and hobby farming, to accounting, marketing, and voluntary counselling.
Writing has been a lifelong passion and in 2008 she completed a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing at the Whitireia Polytechnic in Wellington, New Zealand. At the end of 2008 she established Margaret Street Publishing.
For thirteen years Michelle MacKinnon was involved with religious groups that had similarities to the Eden community. She has taken snippets from her own experience and those of others, added a good dose of imagination, and crafted a novel that reflects some of the difficulties people in that lifestyle face when they decide to question or leave.
Escape From Eden was written as part of her work towards her Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing and is recommended by Daphne Clair de Jong, multi-published worldwide author, past winner of the Katherine Mansfield BNZ Short Story Award and other awards.
In Daphne’s own words: “A riveting story with a ring of authenticity. This book gives unique insight into the intimate day-to-day life of a closed religious community. What happens when a member leaves for life in the “real world” is explored with rare understanding.”