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 – and I’ve been hooked on reading books and writing stories ever since.
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, and I loved reading bedtime stories to them. Then one summer when Louise was ten, she complained to me that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read in the local library. 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. 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 now works in the publishing industry herself as a literary agent. Patrick, meanwhile, is a clever visualiser, and helped create the cover of the second Eye Spy book. So, all in all, you could say that we are a bit of a literary family!