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 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.
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 for The Writers' Block, the London Lit Lab, and the Arvon Foundation. I am a tutor for City University, London and from 2022 I will be a RLF Fellow for Exeter University.
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. I have written a book about it which will be published in 2022 by Nosy Crow.
In Cornwall, where I live now, I love to going seal-spotting - I have swum with seals more than once. This inspired my new picture book for children, out July 2021: