I was born in 1979 and grew up in Grays, Essex. Thanks to my two older sisters, stories have always been a big part of my life. As well as reading to me, they invented tales of their own and drew pictures to accompany them. I began writing short stories when I was about fourteen, and by the time I left school it was my ambition to become an author and illustrator.
When I was nineteen I moved to Stafford to study Illustration. I wrote the first few chapters of The 13 Treasures in my first year of university, but it wasn’t until I left that I began working on it seriously. I had lots of rejection letters before getting published.
After college I worked as a barmaid, in an art gallery, and as a children’s bookseller. Most recently I worked as an assistant editor for a children’s book publisher in Oxford. I now write full time, and recently returned to Essex. I have a son, Jack, and three cats called Marmite, Sorsha and Widdershins. You can find out more about me and my books in the FAQ.
13 FACTS ABOUT ME:
- I’m the youngest of three sisters. The Widdershins sisters from A Pinch of Magic are based on us.
- When I worked in publishing at Oxford University Press, I got to work on a special edition of How to Survive Summer Camp by Jacqueline Wilson. There’s a section of quizzes, recipes and activities at the back of the book – all written by me! I got to meet Jacqueline, too, and she is lovely.
- I first attempted to write a novel when I was about fourteen. It was about a phantom hitchhiker, and I wrote three chapters . . . but never finished it.
- I was an aunt at the age of eight.
- I’m a bit obsessed with black cats. I think it began with stories of Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat by Ursula Moray Williams.
- I can pinch with my toes.
- When I was a student, I was convinced the flat I lived in was haunted. I moved out after two weeks.
- When I worked at Waterstones I won a prize for being the best-dressed bookseller at one of the ‘Harry Potter’ launches. I dressed up as Professor Trelawney. Here’s the proof!
- I have a silver charm bracelet just like Tanya’s in The 13 Treasures.
- I own a crystal ball. Not to predict the future, but because I like the way it looks.
- My favourite films are Willow and Titanic, which I went to see at the cinema six times!
- After one of my sister’s stories I dug in our back garden to look for evidence of a dead fairy. I didn’t find anything.
- The number 13 is my lucky number.