About me

Maisie-Williams and me
My brush with fame – this is me a few years ago on a school visit. The little girl on the left is Maisie Williams, who now stars as Arya Stark in A Game of Thrones. She included this picture in a round up celebrating her 18th birthday. At a stretch, you could perhaps say that ‘Warrior King’ was an early introduction to the world of GOT

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!)

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Nessie – reservoir dog!

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.)

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 – and I sing in a choir, run by the amazingly talented Issy Emeney.