Q: When were you born?

A: I was born on the 18th September 1963, which, if you're interested in astrology, makes me a Virgo. I know it might sound like I'm an ancient old fossil but I still feel like a 10 year-old inside.

Q: Where did you grow up? 

A: I grew up in Teddington, Middlesex. I went to St Mary's and St Peter's primary school, where my favourite teacher was Mr Brittain. My best friends in school were Heidi, Angela, Julie & Christina and my best friends outside of school were Claire and Linda. I fell in love with a boy called Simon when I was four and we promised each other we'd grow up and have 4 children and a pink Lamborghini car. I went on to Orleans Park secondary school and hated most things about it. Looking back, I wish I'd gone to the 'all girls' school with my friends, but my mum wanted me to go to a mixed school. I had this horrid Maths teacher called Mr Chapman. He was evil, well, probably not, but I thought so at the time! My best friends there were Jean, Kate & Debbie and I fell in love with a boy called Matthew and a boy called Saul. 

Q: What were your best and worst subjects at school?

A: My best subjects were English, Drama and Music (I played the Trumpet). My worst was maths. I hated it so much I used to sit at the back of the class and write poetry.

Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?

A: Yes a brother called Tim who is 5 years older than me and a sister called Suzanne who is 3 years older. 

Q: Do you have any children?

A: Yes, I have a daughter, Jane, and a son, Tim, and three stepsons, Sam, Joe and Ben. They're all grown-up now but I get to see them lots and love hanging out with them. And I also have a gorgeous little Grandson called Freddy!

Q: What were you like when you were young?

A: Life was hard when I was small. I was born into a very troubled family. My Dad was a very angry man. He used to shout and get really violent. He'd break stuff and do mean things. My lovely mum, my brother, my sister and I used to sit and tremble with fear. I quickly learnt to be as quiet as a mouse. I even learnt to cry without making a sound. When I was 10 years old and my dad left we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. Although life became more peaceful it took us years to get over the shock of living with him.

Q: Did you always want to be a writer?

A: Yes. As soon as I could hold a pen I started writing pages and pages of scribble. Then I moved onto writing words that people could read and started writing about everything going on around me. I wrote down all my feelings about life and the world. 

Q: Where do you live now?

A: I live in a tiny village near Frome, in Somerset, with my husband Daniel. 

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: No. 

Q: What other jobs have you had?

A: I've worked as a nanny, a waitress, a dresser for West End theatres in London, and for the BBC (where I worked on Eastenders, Breakfast TV and Grange Hill). Since 1996 I've worked as a homeopath, allergy therapist and self-inquiry teacher and now as a writer. It's really important to remember that what we do for work isn't who we really are. In fact it doesn't mean much about us at all. Who we really are is much, much more exciting... because who we really are is love appearing as life and that's an awesome thing to be.

Q: Who are your favourite authors?

A: I love Meg Rosoff, Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy, David Almond, Sally Nichols, Sarah Lean, Annabel Pitcher and oh, so many more. As a child I read and read and read... my favourite books were Little Women, Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Famous Five, Swallows and Amazons, Ballet Shoes, The Secret Garden, The Painted Garden and oh, so many, many other wonderful stories.

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