I live in Cheddar. That’s a small town in Somerset, England.
It’s famous for cheese, and for a very dramatic gorge with steep cliffs and caves where there used to be cannibals (but not cave-painters).
I have three grown-up children and three grandsons. And a Border Collie called Nessie. (Who has been known to be rather naughty!)
I taught English for quite a few years. Then I began to write educational resources – basically lesson plans around a given topic – for a publisher called The Chalkface Project. Alongside this, I was teaching children who were out of school because of illness, or because they were school phobic or had been excluded. Then I started writing stories for children – and had my first book, Spook School, published – and moved on to working with young offenders. After that, alongside writing, I worked for some years in the universities of Bristol and Exeter as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, helping students learn how to write better essays. More books came along, including one, Emily’s Surprising Voyage, which was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. (If you write books for children, that’s a big deal. I was very proud.)
What else? I was born with six fingers on each hand. So was Ann Boleyn, but I don’t think we’re alike in any other ways. I’ve certainly never been married to a king.