When I was nine, my teacher sent my stories to Enid Blyton, who said `Very nice, but she won’t write when she’s an adult.’ Well, I’ve never stopped. So many ideas! Writing is a celebration, like living life over again.
My novels, comic books and stories for anthologies have been published here and abroad. Some have appeared on shortlists, or been the Independent Story of the Year, won the Kathleen Fidler Award, or Writer’s awards from both the Arts Council of England and East Midlands Arts.
I love writing for young children before they are processed and I’ve made up stories to be illustrated by Tina Macnaughton, Jackie Morris, Nilesh Mistry and Sophy Williams. At schools and festivals, I encourage children to value their own imaginations, not just for stories, but as a necessary part of themselves. I want them to love reading, listening and telling. This passion will stay with them all their lives, even if it lets itself out of the door for a few adolescent years.
As a child I kept almost every animal there is and I’m still inspired by the natural world, whether it’s The Littlest Owl, the Tiger in Lord of the Forest, the snow leopard, otter, swallow and wolf in The Shaman Boy or the teenagers in Mine and Eleven o’clock Chocolate Cake.