F.A.Q.

Why do you write YA fiction?
I clearly remember loving reading when I was in this age group, and have enjoyed seeing my own children develop as readers, so it is a thrill to write for this readership. There is a real willingness to enter a narrative and suspend disbelief which is harder to experience as an older reader.

Do you prefer writing novels or writing TV?

I like both forms of writing. The main difference is that with TV I’m working on other people’s shows, writing to a brief, and commissioned to write single episodes on a variety of projects, whereas writing a novel is entirely my own project, so I have complete creative freedom which makes it more challenging but also more satisfying.

What’s a typical writing day?

I write every weekday, and sometimes weekends, too. But I can never do more than about three or four hours of actual writing. Sometimes I need to be in my office for a full day to do that. Once I’m into the writing phase – as opposed to plotting, for example, which I take a long time over – I try to stick to a goal of a thousand words a day.

What books did you read as a child?

Some of my favourite writers were Enid Blyton, Joan Aiken, Edith Nesbit, L. M. Montgomery, C.S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Susan Coolidge and Noel Streatfeild.

What else do you like to do, other than write books?

I love reading, films, cooking – eating – and spending time with my family and friends.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m busy writing the next book, Cloudwish. It takes two very minor characters from Wildlife and puts them centre stage. It’s set back at the city campus at the beginning of year eleven. The other project I’m very excited about is co-writing a YA book with Cath Crowely and Simmone Howell.