Have you always been a writer?

Er, no. I’ve done a lot of different things before I ended up here. I wanted to be a teacher, and did my first degree in English Literature with teacher training. But halfway through my course I realised I didn’t want to teach. After I graduated I did a ton of random temp jobs, then went to work in PR, and then in marketing, and then back to PR again. I left my job doing the PR for a children’s book publisher to do an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University in 2004, and have been lucky enough to have had writing work in some form or other since then. Yay!

Where do you get your ideas?

Anywhere and everywhere. I’m the person that earwigs in on your conversation on the bus. I love that! Especially when it’s a really juicy one, with lots of gossip and scandal. People are an endless source of fantastic inspiration and I like to find out everything about everyone. I ask a lot of questions.

With Baby Badger’s Wonderful Night, I wrote the book as part of my MA course. I wanted to write a gentle book that would provide comfort and reassurance, couldn’t think of many other books that featured badgers and it all stemmed from there.

What’s your favourite book?

Fnarrgh, don’t make me pick just one. I can’t. It’s not possible. There are so many I love. But if I had to, absolutely had to, with a gun to my head and my arm twisted behind my back, I’d say my favourite teen book is probably Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin and my favourite picture book is Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French.

What makes you happy?

My family and my friends. Sunshine.Reading a book so good you never want it to end. The beach at night time with the moon sparkling on the sea. Long summer days. Going to the cinema on a weekday afternoon and having it all to yourself. Making my son, aka Tornado Toddler, laugh. Chocolate minstrels. Feeding the ducks. Cheesy eighties pop. Laughing so hard my tummy hurts. Guinea pigs. Hearing a song on the radio that takes me back to a special place somewhere.

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