Well, I never set out to be an author or a writer of any description, although English was one of the subjects I enjoyed at school and I always loved reading. The first book I remember reading was Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Although I probably only chose that book because we shared the same surname at the time.
After leaving school I worked as a secretary for Wickman Machine Tools and British Leyland, teaching myself all the secretarial skills such as shorthand and typing which have come in really useful ever since.
When I first became interested in creative writing, I took a home study course which was a huge help and as soon as I had my very first piece of writing published in a magazine - a letter to the editor, which earned me the princely sum of £1.50, I was hooked!
As most writers will tell you, there's an awful lot of rejections before the successes come, but perseverance is the answer. These days I write full time on all kinds of things including magazine articles. Articles are great fun to do because you get to do such unusual things, and meet all kinds of interesting people. Often this gives you ideas for fictional stories too.
My first novel was published in 1995 and since then there have been another eleven, including some books for grown ups and some non-fiction books.
One of the nicest things about writing children's books is getting the opportunity to visit schools, meeting young readers and talking about books and writing. I regularly run writing classes for adults too.