I was born in 1962 in Coventry (scarily ancient, I know). I wrote my first picture book for my little brother when I was eight or nine. I loved making comics, too – pages and pages of picture stories, features and competitions. I’d sell my homemade comic to a friend for 5p, then claim it back and sell it again to someone else, they didn’t have photocopiers back then!
I went to Art College in Liverpool, then got a job as fiction editor on the fab and legendary Jackie magazine. Later, I married my boyfriend Liam, went back to college and trained to be an art teacher. I taught in a Coventry secondary school for a few years, which I loved, then moved to Scotland with Liam to start a family. For 12 years I was the agony aunt for teen mag Shout, as well as teaching art in several local primary schools, but these days the books take up pretty much all of my time and attention.
My kids are grown up now, and after many years living in the beautiful Galloway hills in Scotland, we now live on Merseyside in a cool Victorian house that looks out over a park. When I look out of my writing room window I can see swans and geese on the lake… awww!
I’ve been veggie for over 30 years, and was vegan for 10 of them – a chocolate-eating vegan, like Storm! I love old clothes, old toys, cars, books. We have two dogs called Ziggy & Finn and a cat called Pepper. In some of the pics below you can see my dog Kelpie, who sadly died recently after a bad fall in the park chasing squirrels. (She didn’t catch any, don’t worry, and she was sixteen, which is very old for a big dog.)
We have now adopted another rescue lurcher, Ziggy, who was abused as a pup and had a badly smashed pelvis which hasn’t healed well… as a result, she walks with a zig-zaggy kind of gait but is very, very lovely. In the pic you can see Ziggy and Finn, our other rescue lurcher, snuggling up!
I love my family, I love my animals, my home and my work. Of all my jobs, writing has to be the best – it’s the perfect excuse to daydream, after all!
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Fave childhood reads….
The Narnia books by CS Lewis
The Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome
The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Watership Down by Richard Adams
New fave authors!!
For younger teens…
The Weight Of Water by Sarah Crossan.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Misfits by James Howe
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne La Fleur
Once & Then by Morris Gleitzman
Check out Michelle Magorian, Michael Morpurgo & Gennifer Choldenko, too….
For older teens…..
Solace of The Road by Siobhan Dowd
Delerium by Lauren Oliver
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
You Don’t Know Me by David Klass
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
Check out Jandy Nelson, Jaclyn Moriarty, David Leviathan & Kevin Brooks, too…
If you like my books, you might like…
Seriously Sassy by Maggi Gibson
Threads by Sophia Bennett
Glitter by Kate Maryon
Life, Death and Gold Leather Trousers by Fiona Foden
and check out Kelly McKain, Karen McCombie and Tamsyn Murray too.
For older readers, try…
Wonderland by Joanna Nadin
Being Billy by Phil Earle
Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
Moss green, but I wear a lot of black, too!
Echo & The Bunnymen
Red Hot Chillis
Belle & Sebastian
(plus a million others, old & new…)
Fave things to do…
Read, write, daydream….
Swim, walk, eat cake with friends…
Hang out with friends & family around a bonfire with live music and starlight…
I'm home after a gorgeous book tour to celebrate the launch of SAMI's SILVER LINING! I want to thank the awesome schools who helped...
I'm just home from a week's tour talking to thousands of readers old and new all around the UK... it was SO much fun,...