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.
I have three grown-up children and three grandsons, and a Border Collie called Nessie.
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. 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.)
Now, as well as writing myself, I teach writing in the community. For more about that, see here; or if you’re a young writer, you might want to take a look here for some tips and ideas.
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.
I like drawing – more about that here, I sing in a choir – not very well – and I volunteer on a historic ship in Bristol, the SS Great Britain. There’s a story set on the ship here.