Welcome to my Website

website photo4

I write children’s fiction, non-fiction and teacher resources for a wide range of publishers. I also have two monthly columns in Writers’ Forum, one on writing for children and the other about authors and their research. I do school visits, run workshops and provide a mentoring service on writing for children.

My employment background has been largely within primary education, where I was a teacher from 1988. I became a full-time freelance writer in 2002, after the birth of my third child.

I began my writing career writing short stories for the national women’s magazines and features for county magazines. I had quite a bit of success doing this and learnt a lot. One of the most important lessons I learnt was before you write anything you should do your market research.

When writing for the magazine market it is so important you know who your audience is and what they want. My advice to anyone who wants to get published, whether it is in writing for children, adults, your agent, or a specific editor, is – know who you are writing for.

I work best to deadlines, as it helps me organise my time. I write copious lists that can span five sides of A4, in priority order and work through them. Usually, the lists break down a big job into smaller segments. One side of A4 may be only one project. I flit about a bit with my projects and that is why I need a list. I tend to be ultra-organised so if a publisher gets in touch and wants me to work on a project at short notice, with a tight deadline I can normally shuffle things around a bit to fit the job in.

But I do snatch every minute I can to write and I do write something everyday. Although, I’ve no idea how many words I write on a daily basis. Sometimes I spend the day editing a piece and other days I write something new. Sometimes, I spend the whole day engrossed in research, which I love. Dinner is often late because I’ve nipped upstairs for something and accidentally sat down at my PC and started typing. I’m obsessed.

As you can see, I do not have a set writing routine. I wake up, ensure the children get to school, walk the dog, come home turn on the computer, spend ages checking my mail and social networks, and before I know it, the children are home and wanting to be fed.

When I get into a piece of writing, it is hard to drag me away. I can’t think of anything else my mind is away on an adventure with my characters, whether it’s a children’s story or a short story for a woman’s magazine, or creating photocopiable worksheets for use in the classroom. I don’t live in the real world. I live in my imagination. This is when I am in my element. People talk to me and I can’t really hear what they are saying and my children have learnt they can take advantage of this.

What more can I say? I love writing! I also enjoy reading YA books, walking the dog, camping in my VW Campervan, singing at the top of my voice in the car, knitting, Ceroc dancing and spending time with my family and friends.

I am a member of the Society of Authors, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE). I also write book reviews for the online magazine for teachers and librarians, Armadillo.