My first book
I wrote my first book when my daughter Charlie was about a year old.
It was a hot summer and I suddenly found myself imagining what it must be like to be a child living in a country where water isn’t always fresh and clean or readily on tap. I stepped into another world by writing as an imaginary child in Africa.
It was my first book, very rough around the edges and although there was a lot of interest, in fact one publisher worked on it with me for a year, it was a difficult subject to tackle so it went back into the file.
Still, the experience and interest in my writing spurred me on to my next picture book, GOOD DAY, BAD DAY, (UK edition) or WHEN THEY FIGHT (US edition).
Snowshoe, smiles and scary stories
After Good Day, Bad Day, I decided I wanted to write a funny story. So along came SNOWSHOE THE HARE, published by Egmont. I thought about all the horrible stories my older sisters used to tell me and I believed them. Yes, I was trusting and they had great fun winding me up!
One tall tale was thrown at me when I swallowed chewing gum. My two older sisters insisted that I would slowly turn into a bubble gum tree. I watched my arms and legs with ghoulish terror for the following weeks, just in case anything sprouted.
So Snowshoe was to a degree based on a scary experience from my childhood. It’s a hoot and you’ll probably be able to pick it up in any library.
By then I was hooked on writing stories for children and couldn’t resist writing little notes full of ideas and characters on scraps of paper as I went about my daily routine. Since then I have written 20 books including poetry, ghost stories, comedy and mystery/adventure stories.
I have an uncanny knack of writing animals into my stories. If the main character doesn’t happen to be an animal, which for me is quite unusual, then I will slip a creature somewhere into the plot.
I have pondered this strange phenomenon for quite some time and have decided that animals can be comical, expressive, adventurous and most importantly - simple to understand, unlike human beings.
Animals are just great fun to observe. They are at times wonderfully clever. Have you ever watched birds build a nest, a squirrel walk a washing line, a spider spin a web or a pigeon stick its head into an empty packet of crisps (pigeons excluded from the clever list)?
Animals can also be mysterious, like my arctic wolf in my story THE TUPILAK or an incarnation of evil like the raven in my ghost story PITCH POND CURSE.
What now and get in touch!
For the first time this year, I am planning a story that has a heroine as its central character and is based on human relationships. It’s a dark tale, of course, but perhaps it will have a silver lining, or maybe not!
And finally, I love hearing from you, so please feel free to get in touch!
Authors can’t always make it on their own. A special ‘thank you’ to Arts Council South West for their support in my work.