- What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was five I wrote a lot of poems and wanted to be a poet, but later on I became stage-struck and planned a career in the theatre.
- When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
It just kind of happened – I used to sing in the streets to earn money, and that led to songwriting, which in turn led to book-writing. But I still enjoy performing as much as writing, and often put on shows based on my books and songs.
- What’s your first childhood memory?
Climbing through a hole in a fence – into the unknown!
- What was your worst subject in school?
Games – I used to daydream and miss the ball.
- What was your first job?
Working for a London publisher. Officially I was a secretary; actually I edited half the manuscripts but was only allowed to meet the authors in the role of tea girl.
- Where do you write your books?
I have a little study, but I do lots of the writing in my head when I’m in the bath or out for a walk.
- Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
Anywhere and everywhere: things that happen to my children; memories of my own childhood; things people say; places I go to; old folk tales and fairy stories. The hard part for me is not getting the idea, it is turning it into a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
- Which of your characters is most like you?
Princess Mirror-Belle. There are 3 books about this naughty reflection who comes out of a mirror and claims that she is a princess with magical powers. (I used to tell my younger sister that I was a fairly in disguise.)
- When you finish a book, who reads it first?
My husband reads everything I write when he gets home from work. We read it aloud to each other. He also acts characters in my stage shows and is a terrific support.
- Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A night owl.
- Which do you like better: cats or dogs?
Cats, though I get fed up with my three when they sit on the space bar of my computer and I suddenly discover I have a 2,000-page-long document.
- Where do you go for peace and quiet?
Out to the Scottish hills and lochs for a long walk.
- What time of the year do you like best?
The merry month of May.
- What is your worst habit?
Playing Spider Solitaire on the computer when I should be writing.
- What do you wish you could do better?
- What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?
It’s a secret.