Aged six, I wrote and illustrated my first story, which was inspired by the derelict house in an overgrown garden near to where we lived in Epsom. (I am fascinated by old buildings, and they often crop up in my books). At seven, I read my first full length children’s novel – Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome – after which I moved on to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, which heavily influenced my own stories.
My father, who had published a very learned book on mathematics, offered to send one of my stories to his publisher to see what he thought of it. When the reply finally arrived, the Editor told me that, although I was not yet quite ready for publication. I should keep on writing and perhaps, after a few more years practice, I would write a story that would be good enough to be published.
After leaving school, I went to art school, and followed a career in architecture and design, which enabled me to indulge my love of old buildings. Although I had to put writing to one side during this period, I continued to devour novels in my spare time. I had two children, Louise and Patrick. Then one summer when Louise was ten, she complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read in the local library. What she really wanted, she told me, was a more up-to-date version of Enid Blyton’s mystery stories. That was when I decided to fulfil my childhood ambition, and create a children’s adventure story of my own, and so the Eye Spy series was born.
Nowadays I write books and articles about other things as well, such as healthy eating and family history. You can find a link to my other work here. I have just completed an Open University degree which included a course on children’s literature. And I am very pleased that Louise has inherited my love of reading and writing and has worked in the publishing industry and as a literary agent. Patrick, meanwhile, is a clever visualiser, and often helps me create images which I use to publicise my books.