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 a black cat called Marmite. You can find out more about me and my books in the FAQ.
Watch a short film of me introducing The 13 Treasures here.
13 FACTS ABOUT ME:
- I was almost called Jacqueline. My mum changed her mind after my sister persuaded her to call me Michelle.
- The book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke inspired me to take bookbinding classes.
- I was an aunt at the age of eight.
- I love black cats.
- I can pinch with my toes.
- When I was a student, I lived in a haunted flat. I moved out after two weeks.
- When I worked at Waterstone’s I won a prize for being the best-dressed bookseller at one of the ‘Harry Potter’ launches. I dressed up as Professor Trelawney.
- I have a silver charm bracelet. It’s not exactly the same as the one in my stories but each charm is connected to the books in some way.
- I own a crystal ball. Not to predict the future, but because I like the way it looks.
- I’m a fan of horror films. I went to the cinema alone to watch The Blair Witch Project because no one would come with me – too scared!
- 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.
- I have extremely vivid, and often weird dreams that have been known to come true.
- The number 13 is my lucky number.