One of my best memories is spluttering with laughter at the back of the classroom because my friend had said something funny, and being desperate for the teacher not to see me. I look back on my childhood and I remember laughing. A lot. And you know, it didn't do me any harm at all. I passed all my exams, went to university and gained a BA (hons) in English and Lingustics. And here I am now, doing something I love - writing for children!
I'm a great believer in children learning more through having fun than through having facts rammed down their throats. What I want more than anything is for children to laugh when they read my books and hopefully what they've read will trigger off thoughts of their own.
I wish I could change the world because there's a lot that needs putting right, but unfortunately I can't. What I hope to be able to do is make people smile, feel happy. And that's a start isn't it?
When I was little I loved 'Paddington' books by Michael Bond and the 'Just William' books by Richmal Crompton, story-tellers both who stand the test of time. As far as contemporary influences go there are way too many to mention, but the ones who leap out are Francesca Simon, of 'Horrid Henry' fame, Jaqueline Wilson of so many wonderful books and the fabulous Louise Rennison who created Georgia Nicolson and her diaries.
I have written for lots of different age-groups and have had several books published in the Toytown series as well as 13 in the popular 'Sleepover Club' series. Both of which are published by HarperCollins. As well as my forthcoming book 'The Extremely Very Scrambled Up World of Little Doogs' I am also writing a book for early teens which is partly set in Zambia.