You get a little moody sometimes but I think that's because you like to read.
Pat Conroy, THE PRINCE OF TIDES
I was about six years old when I first read a story independently, in a sunlit classroom of the Lycée Français in London’s Cromwell Road. I remember clearly how the world around me fell away as I was transported into the pages of the book, to a castle garden in another country, another time. From that moment, I only ever wanted to be a writer.
It took me a while. After leaving university, I went to work for a publishing company, got married, had children… I loved all of it, but a part of me still longed to write. I complained about this quite extensively, until one dear friend reminded me in a very no-nonsense way that “writers write”. In other words, to get on with it.
So I did.
The first book I wrote was published in 2008 by Transworld, a dual-time romance for grownups. It was followed by another grownup book in 2010, but since then I have written exclusively for children and young people, and I have no plans to change this - perhaps because it brings me closest to that amazing thrill of magic I felt in that sunlit classroom when I first learned to read alone.
Some non-book related facts about me:
- I was born in London and have lived here all my life, but I’m three-quarters French, an eighth English and an eighth Dutch. I adore London, but lately I've been thinking a lot about trees, and how I would like to have more around me. So maybe one day soon I will leave…
- I love the natural world, I’m involved in a community garden project and I go on lots of environmental marches.
- I am learning to draw. Mostly I draw trees…
- I have two grown up daughters of whom I am ridiculously proud. I am happily married to their father. The “person” I talk to most is my tortoiseshell cat, Amber (here is a picture of Amber).
- My favourite place to be is by the sea, most specifically the Atlantic Ocean. My favourite film is Casablanca.Two of my favourite writers are Eva Ibbotson and PG Wodehouse.
- I get very grumpy if I don’t have a good book to read, if I’m not writing, if I’m hungry, tired or don’t get enough exercise. Otherwise I am a generally cheerful person.
Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about my life as a writer.