I was all set to become a dancer, not a writer. From the age of nine to sixteen, I went to dance class every night of the week. I was obsessed! It was my passion. It was also my career path, So much so, that at sixteen, after my GCSEs, I auditioned for, and got a place at, a residential performing arts college to do a three-year course in Musical Theatre (dancing, acting and singing). However, I only completed the first year before I realised I didn’t want it badly enough. Lucky really, since I also probably didn’t have enough talent! That year spent at stage school, now seems like a whole other life entirely…

Big Little Man

Big Little Man

Talking of which…Posh Spice was in my year on the course. We were mates! She was a really ordinary, slightly spotty, but very healthy size 10 girl from Hertfordshire then, who thought I was ‘mental’ (in a good way, I can only hope.) She also had a boyfriend who was not David Beckham, and was so driven, even then, that she’d often take extra classes than those on our schedule, just to get in the teachers’ good books. When, after I’d left Laine to go back home and do my A’ levels a year late, I switched on the telly to see that Vicky Adams (as she was known then) was in a new, up and coming band called The Spice Girls, I nearly fell off my chair. That was before she met David, and they became the hottest power couple on the planet. Ah, coulda been me…!

I had a baby with my best friend. Obviously, we were ‘friends with benefits’ at one point, but once I got pregnant, we just stayed friends, and remain the best of mates to this day, whilst co-parenting our thirteen-year old son, Fergus. When people meet us, they can’t believe we’re not a couple since we get on so well (and bicker like a married couple the rest of the time.) It’s all a bit modern, but it works for us.

I was expelled from Primary School. Or ‘asked to leave’ as my mother prefers to refer to it, even to this day. Whichever way you look at it, not bad going for ten years old!

I can speak French. Not half as well as I once did, to my eternal regret, but I did a French (and English Lit) degree at Leeds university and spent a year, as part of my course, teaching English to French school kids. It was a year of great personal development, not least because I had a romantic fling with a Prof de Philo (Philosophy teacher). We read Sartre to one another, while drinking vin rouge from tumblers, and listened to Edith Piaff whilst driving around Provence in his Deux Chevaux. How young and pretentious we were! How glorious it was!

I am one of three girls, and so always wanted a little boy. When I was younger, I’d fantasise about spending my Sunday mornings standing on the side-lines, watching a son play rugby or football…And that’s exactly what I got.

I’m a single mum, so it’s just me and the boy in the house. It can be quite intense - nobody to escape to if we’re driving each other mad (He’d say I drive him mad more than the other way around, but it would all be lies….) But it’s wonderful too. We talk a lot, something, that if he had several siblings and I had a husband, I wonder if we’d have time for. I like to think we have an especially close relationship, just like Juliet and Zac do in Little Big Man.

I once spent a week, naked, on a nudist resort in the South of France. Not just for laughs, I might add, but in my capacity as Chief Mug, I mean, Features Writer at Marie-Claire magazine. During the six years I worked there, I also wrote a column about having a baby with my friend, called And then there were three….Which eventually became the inspiration for my first novel: One Thing Led to Another.

As a child, I was obsessed with Beatrix Potter, to the point that aged about nine, I spent a whole summer dressing like her (Victoriana blouse and long skirt / straw boater,) wistfully sitting under the willow tree in our back garden and penning Potter rip-offs. My mum found the book of stories I wrote in the loft the other day, complete with terrible illustrations of frogs on lily pads and hedgehogs living in tiny houses in the trunks of trees….Shameless plagiarism!

I’m a northerner and proud! I grew up in the seaside town of Morecambe, in Lancashire. I try to write about the north of England in my fiction, as I feel there aren’t enough commercial novels, at any rate, set outside of London. Little Big Man is set in Grimsby, which isn’t so much north as east I suppose. But still, as a maritime town, it has a very unique, special heritage, just like Morecambe. When I went there to write, I felt perfectly at home.


*Little Big Man, by Katy Regan, is out on April 19th, published by Mantle.