Joan Dalgleish began drama school, first at the Rathbone Academy and then at the Independent Theatre in Sydney, after being rejected for teacher training because she was an asthmatic. She acted in several plays and toured New South Wales and Queensland.
Dalgleish began writing children's books in the 1970s in additon to writing a long running serial for Radio 2JJ called Liz Farcarter, Private Investigator. Her skill in the use of natural dialogue in her children's books drew on her background in drama and writing for radio, television and stage.
Dalgleish has also written several children's readers not indexed in AustLit. For more information about her works for children, see Australian Children's Books: A Bibliography: Volume Three 1989-2000 (2004), by Kerry White.