I always wanted to be a writer or poet. It all began with the first story I wrote when I was six years-old. It was about 15 pages long and was about a cat, a witch and a spaceship. I remember being so proud that it was so long, and spent much time counting the words over and over again. When I grew up, my love for writing translated into a career in journalism, before I moved into communications. But being able to create a story from scratch and see it published as a book, is by far the best thing I have done.

Nicola J Rowley

Nicola J Rowley

I always thought that I would write adult fiction but I never sat down and wrote more than an odd chapter here and there. When my son was born, within weeks I started reading to him. It makes me incredibly happy to see the enjoyment he now gets from turning the pages, learning new words and going on special adventures. I would love to help instil a similar love of books and reading in all children, no matter what their age.

I love to laugh and smile. Happiness is really addictive. And there's nothing better than to surround yourself with like-minded people.

Being kind to others is really important to me. Even if it's just a small gesture like a smile, a simple act of kindness can make a big difference to someone else.

My head is always swimming with new ideas and characters, and I draw on inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. James and the Amazing Gift is loosely based on my son, who, as a baby was incredibly chilled and happy. Aside from this, I like to run and get a lot of ideas whilst I'm jogging past the horses in the fields first thing in the morning.

I like nothing more than to curl up with a good book and just lose myself in the characters and storyline. I am surrounded by children's books at home, so when I get the chance, it is good for me to retreat into a good adult novel.

One of my fondest memories from my childhood was when I was introduced to Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes. It is etched upon my memory, and began a lifelong love of all things poetry related. To this day, I still have the books that I created my own versions of Cinderella in.

I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot. I love Sydney, New York, and Hoi An in Vietnam and would definitely like to return to all of them. But for me, one of the biggest highlights was getting to meet mountain gorillas in the wild in Rwanda. There's something so beautiful and incredibly special about being close to wild animals in their own habitat.

I also run a successful photography business, specialising in children and family, weddings and commercial imagery. It's another passion of mine. I guess you could say - I always need to have a creative outlet.

I enjoy nothing more than to be surrounded by my friends and family. I am lucky to have some incredible people in my life, and my long-standing friendships mean the world to me.