I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I felt very lucky that my dad was a bookseller. I remember spending many school holidays tucked up in the corner of a bookshop, slowly reading my way through the children’s section. I was allowed to read as many books as I wanted, as long as I was quiet and didn’t bend the spines.
I found that my taste in books was very varied. I devoured Roald Dahl’s hilarious stories (Esio Trot still has a special spot on my bookshelf), but I also loved the thrill of Goosebumps and the Point Horror series, even though I sometimes had to shut the book and take a few deep breaths to stop myself getting too scared. Jacqueline Wilson is still my all time favourite author, because of the realness of her stories – they could happen to any of us.
I always imagined how amazing it would be to write a book that other children would find in a bookshop, take home and enjoy reading, and many years later, this dream came true. Sometimes, I still kick myself when I see somebody holding The Mystery of The Colour Thief.
I’m inspired by people’s stories – especially those from different cultures and times, because I feel we have so much to learn from them. Girl 38 includes a retelling of my grandmother’s experiences as a teenage girl living in Poland during the Second World War.
When I’m not writing, I’m usually found running around after my two little girls who I’m hoping will become book-lovers too. I also work in education, for a company which supports school leaders and governors to do their amazing job of running schools.
My question burst out of me before I could stop it: ‘Have you ever had a friend who persuaded you to do stuff even when you didn’t want to?’