I grew up in a seaside town on the east coast of England and spent most of my childhood with my face stuck in a book. When I was eighteen, I moved to a town called Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales so that I could study English literature and read more books. At some point between then and now I started writing books, and I’m glad I did because it means I sometimes get to meet some of the authors I really admire — as well as the lovely young people who read my books. Recently, I completed a master’s degree in American literature at the University of East Anglia, and that was great, too, because I got to read a whole load more books. I really like books.
I started writing for teenagers when I was an English teacher who spent every day with teenagers. I wanted to write something to make them laugh. I wrote a book called Lottie Biggs Is Not Mad, and the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, named it a White Raven book because they thought it was exceptional and innovative. I was pleased about this and wrote some more books. What’s Up with Jody Barton? was short-listed for a Costa Children’s Book Award, and so was Sophie Someone. Until Sophie Someone, I had never had a novel published in the U.S. Now, thanks to the lovely people at Candlewick Press, I do! This makes me very happy indeed.
Three Things You Didn’t Know About Me
I am surprisingly good at robotic dancing. I can’t breakdance though.
I backpacked around the U.S. when I was twenty years old. One of my favorite places was an enormous secondhand bookstore I found in Flagstaff, Arizona. I didn’t have much money though, so the only thing I bought was a copy of Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain. I still have it.
I have an elderly house rabbit named Mrs Irma Chubb. She’s an absolute delight.