Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, a writer or a poet. It all began with the first story I wrote when I was six years-old. It was about 15 pages long and was about a cat, a witch and a spaceship. I remember being so proud that it was so long and counting all the words over and over again. When I grew up, my love for writing translated into a career in journalism, but I fell in love with broadcasting instead. I became a newsreader on local and national radio stations, before moving into TV, where I ended up as an Entertainment Reporter for BBC Three. When I could no longer see my future on the red carpet, I switched careers and moved into Communications. Whilst there, I oversaw big events, news stories and stunts including floating a giant polar bear along the Thames, launching TV channels with a giant replica Mr Darcy and re-creating HMP Slade from the hit TV series Porridge, reuniting the original cast members and the writers. When my son came along, I finally made time to write my first book. It’s been a long time coming, but hopefully you will think it’s been worth the wait!
Why Children’s Books?
I have to be honest, I always thought that I would write adult fiction but I never sat down and wrote more than an odd chapter here and there. When my son was born, within weeks I started reading to him. It makes me incredibly happy to see the enjoyment he now gets from turning the pages, learning new words and going on special adventures. I would love to help instil a similar love of books and reading to all children, no matter what their age.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere! Not surprisingly James and the Amazing Gift is based on my son, who is incredibly chilled and happy. The train ride into London and the reaching out to the little girl both happened in real life. It was really special to see, and I knew that I wanted to pass it on for others to enjoy. Aside from this, I like to run and get a lot of ideas whilst I’m jogging past the horses in the fields first thing in the morning. Needless to say, having worked in so many interesting environments and with so many interesting people, it provides a lot of inspiration.
What else don’t we know about you?
I also run a successful photography business, specialising in children and family, weddings and commercial imagery. It’s another passion of mine. I guess you could say, I always need to have a creative outlet.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I would have to say being a mum and all that comes with it. This and being able to re-live my own childhood through my little boy! As a child, I never wanted to grow up. I was happy as I was. If I could have my time again, I’d probably just stay at my favourite age, which was around eight or nine when I first discovered Roald Dahl and was surrounded by lots of books and my imagination was happy running riot. Oh and of course, running and reading too.
Favourite colour – fuschia pink
Favourite flower – Gerberas (because they’re like giant daisies) and for the same reason Sunflowers
Favourite place – Where we spent the first part of our honeymoon on the beach in Thailand (because it was our honeymoon) and I loved looking out to sea and being on the beach with no one else around
Favourite food – I love cheese and ice-cream (not at the same time though!)
Favourite drink – always cranberry and raspberry juice
Favourite animal – cats (I grew up with a marvellous cat with a huge personality)