I started writing as I have a life-long passion to encourage children to read more and want as many of them to become confident readers from an early age.
My favourite childhood book is Roald Dahl’s Matilda and it’s fair to say that I have been completely inspired not only by this but by many of his other stories. Imagination and childhood go hand in hand and reading a good book definitely helped steer me in the direction of becoming a children’s author myself.
I also work as a freelance drama teacher and there’s nothing I like more than to get into character. It helps also when I visit schools that I like to perform in front of the children. It helps my stories to come alive and I always get great reactions.
I worked in Disneyland for two years in the character and parade department and in the stage shows. I also volunteer my time as a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator for the Make-a-Wish foundation, which supports young people with life-threatening conditions.
I was lucky that whilst I was writing my first book Rolo, I was able to check the reaction of the children I was teaching, whilst I went along. It was like having a ready-made reviewer panel.
I’m delighted to say that my second book, Terror at the Sweet Shop, has already sold three-thousand copies and is on its second print run. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of and it’s great to see so much demand for the story.
Every year I try to visit as many schools across the UK as I can. This year alone I have visited 50 primary and 10 secondary schools from as far afield as Newcastle to schools much nearer to my home in Oxfordshire.
I like to write in complete silence with just my laptop and my imagination for company. I find that my characters develop better that way and it allows everything to flow much better for any plot.
I love being a children’s author – it’s the best job in the world! I’ve even had a primary school in Banbury name its new library in my honour, which I’m completely bowled over by.
I can’t wait to reveal more of my books and am already on my third called Chester’s Fairground. Having a collection of books behind me has always been a dream of mine. And if I inspire a child along the way, then that to me is the real hallmark of success.