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A little bit about me

As a child I loved books. I was lucky to be read to a lot and I can still hear the sound of my Dad’s voice as he read me Dr Seuss stories such as The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham. I always had my nose in a book – or even someone else’s book! I would peer over my older brother’s shoulder when he was learning to read, helpfully shouting when he got stuck, “They’re sheeps Doo Doo!” I wasn’t a genius, just looking at the pictures! (I also hadn’t learned to say Andrew yet)

I used to want to be Sara from A Little Princess or maybe George from The Famous Five books. I went through a big pony book phase too and longed for horse-riding lessons. They didn’t happen so I invented a character of my own called Jo and rode a lot of imaginary horses around our back garden. NB I still can't ride a horse.

My dearest wish was to be an actor. I loved performing in plays, starting with the Nativity - proudly wearing cardboard wings. I acted in everything I could at school, did a Drama degree at university and then joined a small-scale touring theatre company. It was a very creative time as we wrote all our own plays and songs.  It also involved many hours sitting on rickety scenery in the back of a transit van as we rattled up and down the M5 (Health and Safety!)

I had great fun working in children's theatre, playing well-known characters such as Piglet, the Rose from The Little Prince, Susan (the Narnia one) and the Snow Queen. Lots of these plays were new adaptations from the classic stories. Pulling them apart and putting them back together again for the stage gave me a real understanding of how story works.  Once I had my family, I read loads to my children, introducing them to my old favourites and discovering lots of fantastic new writing too. Then I did an MA in Writing For Young People and began writing stories of my own. My first book was published in 2012. I have written a series of novels as well as stand-alone novels for middle grade readers, chapter books for developing readers, and picture books for ...well, for everyone who loves stories.

I live in a village near Bath. We have a medium-sized house in a massive rambling garden. I had planned to tame the garden, but the garden had other ideas... Still, it’s lovely to step outside and see a fox or even a deer enjoying the wildness.

I'm married to a children's TV writer who sits at home all day, typing and laughing at his own jokes. We have two daughters, both now grown up and in the process of flying away, and two cats, both in the process of fighting for the best spot on the sofa.

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