I grew up in Saffron Walden in Essex, a small town, where nothing much happened, and where I spent an awful lot of time wishing I was somewhere else, or someone else. And that’s what I write about now – for children, teenagers and young adults: Extraordinary things happening to very ordinary people, in very ordinary places. And about dreaming of other lives you might live.

And I have lived many other lives: as a lifeguard, a radio newsreader, a producer on a TV cookery show, a journalist, and a special adviser





to the Prime Minister. And I still have other guises: as a government speechwriter, and (in my head at least) as a future ice dance champion.

Stuff I like: Paris, prom dresses, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn't stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, Ladybird books, cake, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard's, Portuguese custard tarts, politics, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, old dresses, my Grandma's fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, eating peanut butter from the jar, the bit where Johnny says ‘no-one puts Baby in a corner’, the 1950s, automata, fiddles, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.




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