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About Me

I was born in Kent but have lived all over the place including London, Clermont-Ferrand, Orleans and Bath.

 

I now live near Penzance in Cornwall, so I have fulfilled one of my life's ambitions: to live by the sea.

 

My other life's ambition was to be a writer and I'm lucky enough to have fulfilled that too.

My latest book for adults is a memoir: A Place for Everything - my mother, autism and me. It is about my mother, Gillian, who lived her whole life not knowing that she had autism. She was diagnosed at the age of 72.

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I started my career as an editor. My first published book was a picture book for children called Over in the Grasslands.

 

Since then I have written over 50 books for children including novels, non-fiction books, poems, short stories, picture books and early readers. To find out more, visit my blog

When I am not writing I am teaching, mentoring or editing other people's writing - all things I love to do. I run creative writing workshops in schools and tutor and mentor for The London Writers' Salon, the London Lit Lab, and the Arvon Foundation. I am also a Royal Literary Fund Fellow and run essay workshops in schools for the Bridge programme.

 

One of my hobbies is making music. I play the piano and the saxophone. If you'd like to see me playing with some of my children's author buddies, take a look at this video we made to promote bookshops!

My other hobby is wild swimming. I love jumping into rivers, lakes and the sea. I swim outside all year round.

 

Swimming feeds my writing. It helps me to switch off the unhelpful chatter in my mind and lets the ideas

bubble up to the surface.

 

It's also the best way to look out for wildlife as the animals and birds don't expect to see me in the water, so they don't try to hide. My favourite bird is the kingfisher which inspired my book Grandpa and the Kingfisher, published by Nosy Crow.

It was shortlisted for the 2023 Wainwright Nature Prize.

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