Tell me what inspired you to write for children?
As a teacher and parent of two young boys, I’m around children all the time. I love sharing stories with kids so I suppose at some point I must have thought I’d give it a go myself. I can’t really pin-point the exact moment that I first sat down to write.

How hard was it to get your first book published?
I was very lucky because I have an amazing agent in Sam Copeland, and he managed to stir up a healthy amount of publisher interest.

How long did it take to write?
I thought about the idea for quite some time. It took me a week to get the beginning and the voice down. I couldn’t decide on tense & POV, but once I had that it came out pretty quickly so start to finish six weeks.

How many publishers turned you down?
I don’t think it was many, but I don’t know for certain because Sam tends to hide bad news from me. Which I’m totally on board with.

What kind of reactions have you had to your books?
So far, I’ve been incredibly lucky, and everybody has been really lovely about it.

What can you tell us about your next book?
Another standalone with lots of heart and lots of humour. The main character is a girl and I really like her.

Do you try and read the online reviews you get on say Waterstones website?
No, not really – unless someone gives me the heads up it’s a good one. I like reading reviews of other peoples’ books though. There are so many great ones out there and a good review will always get me reaching for my wallet.

Would you ever consider writing for teens or adults?
I’d have a bash at writing something funny for adults. I’m not convinced I’m cool enough to write for teens, but I wouldn’t rule out having a go.

What did you do before becoming a writer? Or indeed still do?
I am still a primary school teacher and I love it. Most of the time.

Which author inspires you?
Frank Cottrell Boyce is an all-time favourite. The man is a genius at writing characters you fall in love with. David Solomons is so brilliant too. But my agent Sam Copeland is a kids’ author as well and I adore his books. When I write, I’m constantly hoping that he’s going to like it so we don’t have to have an awkward conversation.

Which genres do you read yourself?
Mainly kids books. I tend to lean towards funny with emotional depth.

What is your biggest motivator?
That’s a great question. I think I’ve always been quite driven, but I think enjoyment is my greatest motivator when it comes to writing. I just love it.

What will always distract you?
Phoning friends.

How much say do you have in your book covers?
I actually don’t want any say in my book covers as I know nothing about what makes a good book cover. Usborne are great and always ask me but with Rob Biddulph as the illustrator anything they show me is going to be amazing. They did a few different covers for Freddie Yates and honestly, I loved them all.

As a child were you a great reader?
I really was at primary school. Not so much at secondary. I was a swimmer (fairly average to be honest) but it meant a lot of early mornings and training after school and I was always too tired to read.

Which book shop is your favourite?
Yours, Fiona. I’m not falling into that trap.
I cannot guarantee that this answer will not change if I speak to another Bookseller.
(But it’s yours).

What can you not resist buying?

Do you have any rituals on your writing days?
I just need a lot of tea and coffee. Apart from that no.

How many books in your own to be read pile? (Let’s have an honest count please)
Sixteen physical books. Many more that are on my list to buy.

What is your current read?
I’m currently reading Cat Doyle’s Second Storm Keeper Book- The Lost Tide Warriors. It’s brilliant.

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