At the age of six, I wanted to be a cricketer and a nun (though I can’t remember exactly how I thought that combination was going to work). Soon afterwards, the urge to write took me over, inspired by the authors whose books I loved most, particularly the late and very great Diana Wynne Jones. When I was twelve, having befriended a hairy cat, I wrote a book that was published by Puffin as ‘Fat Puss and Friends’. Full-time ballet school and a couple more books followed. I wasn’t cut out for ballet, but I kept on writing.
History being another obsession of mine, I ended up eventually at Cambridge University, studying the sixteenth century under such wonderful teachers as Prof. Patrick Collinson and Prof. John Morrill. And I kept on writing. I taught English in Prague, worked in publishing, and spent three years at The Royal Ballet as a Benesh notator. Now I write full time. I’ve had more than forty books published – fiction and non-fiction – but VIII is my first novel for teenagers.