Here’s a little bit about me… I was born and brought up in London, where I still live because I love it here in spite of the noise and the dirt and the crowds. At school in South-East London my favourite subjects were English and History – but my best memories are of the times when I took part in school plays. I did loads of part-time jobs, working, among other things, as a waitress, a shop assistant and even an usherette in a West End theatre. For a while I thought it would be fun to be an actor, then I realized how totally unsuited in almost every way I was to that career and, once I finished university, I became a journalist instead.
In 2003 I got made redundant from my job which was a pretty unpleasant experience. To cheer myself up I decided to try a few things I’d always thought would be fun but had never found the time to do properly before and, that autumn, I started a year long Writing for Children course at the City Literary Institute in London. I immediately fell in love with writing stories and in October (I remember the exact moment!) I decided that writing stories was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. But I needed to earn a living, which meant I had to write stories that other people wanted to read too…
It wasn’t easy to finish a book, let alone get it published. Over the next year-and-a-half I worked hard, getting feedback from other aspiring writers and struggling with almost every aspect of writing fiction. In the end I got there. I finished my first novel, the teen thriller Girl, Missing, at the beginning of 2005 and later that year it was taken on by Simon & Schuster Children’s Books.
Girl, Missing came out in October 2006. Since then I have published many more teen and adult thrillers, as well as two teen romance series – and a whole bunch of other stuff.
For a while I combined writing stories with freelance work as a copyeditor, newsletter editor and creative writing teacher but now I write fiction full time – it’s definitely my favourite job EVER!
In my spare time I like watching football with my son and going out with friends and family for tasty meals and good movies. I don’t like rats, rudeness or shoe shopping and I love dim sum, acts of kindness and great stories.