Welcome to my website. This is what I look like on a good day wearing my favourite shirt and origami crane ear-rings (that's cranes as in a type of bird, not cranes as used to make tall buildings).
I am a teacher and
once taught a class
- and you might find this hard to believe - loved football more than writing. So I wrote Literacy in Action: Football which has writing lessons about the beautiful game. After that I wrote a book called Classroom Literacy Games. My class tried them out and told me how to make them harder and also easier. So each game now has four different versions.
Helping Children Think About Bereavement was published in 2013. I talked about it on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour programme. It is for teachers to use and is about a turtle who lives on a beach and the children who visit him. It is a thinking sort of book.
I am writer-in-residence at a school in Hemel Hempstead which I love because I do story things with fantastic children for lots
of days. Before that I was writer-in-residence in a school in Shadwell, Tower Hamlets. I loved that as well.
My next book is called Us Minus Mum. The story is very funny and very sad, all at the same time. I'm also working on Searching For Dad's Hand which is a story about a family living in a village split in two by a dual carriageway where warrior ducks need defending. I am editing that at the moment. I love editing because the story keeps getting better and better. Sometimes I will edit a sentence twenty times before I am happy with it.
Some more information about me; I have led children's writing weeks, driven steam trains in Poland and eaten loads of Maltesers. I like crunching them between my teeth as my hand reaches out for the next one. I was once a finalist in an LA based script writing competition (that was very exciting) and my first children's book was published in 1996 (that was very exciting as well). It was called Message in a Bottle.
I do things with Open the Book, Child Bereavement UK and Trussell Trust (charities working in Bulgaria and the UK) and I love reading, gardening, watching films, eating meals with friends and dreaming up quirky ideas whilst lying by a swimming pool with palm trees swaying gently in the breeze. I'm also part of a church community in High Wycombe and we do things like go ten pin bowling, eat lots of meals together and find out about our faith.
In the last few years I have worked in schools in America, Croatia and Poland. I love going to new places and meeting new people. The supermarket is one of my favourite places because there are always lots of people who might give me an idea for a story. I live just outside London with my husband. If we are shopping and I see someone who is very interesting, he asks me not to stare for too long. In fact, he asks me not to stare at all because he finds it too embarrassing.
We have two brilliant sons and two brilliant daughters-in-law who are never embarrassing. And we have one grandson and one granddaughter, who we think are amazing. My birthday is on August 1st, I was born in Stoke-on-Trent, live in a semi-detached house, drive a silver polo, one of my favourite words is 'random' and one of my favourite children's books is Michael Foreman's War Game.
As well as Maltesers and malt bread (with Lurpak butter spread on top - one of my two sisters likes malt bread with sardine paste), I also love eating Twirls, Dairy Milk Chocolate Bars (the large sized ones), Mint Aeros, After Eights, raw carrots and Fuji apples. I hope you like eating raw carrots and apples as well because they are good for you.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day and thank you for visiting my website. Here are some of the places I have visited in the last few years...
Aboyne Lodge, St Albans
ACS Cobham International School, Surrey Amersham Pen a Poem competition judge
Ash Hill Primary, High Wycombe
Beechview Primary, High Wycombe Binscombe, Junior, Godalming
Blair Peach Primary, Southall
Booker Hill Primary, High Wycombe
Bourne Primary, Ruislip
Busbridge Junior, Godalming
Carrington Junior, Flackwell Heath, Bucks
Castlefield Combined, High Wycombe
Cedar Park, Hazlemere, Bucks
Chalfont St Giles Infant, Bucks
Chalfont St Peter Infant, Bucks
Chartridge Combined, Bucks
Chesham Bois CE Combined, Bucks
Chestnut Lane Infants, Amersham, Bucks
Clapham Manor Primary, London
Coleshill Infant, Bucks
Colham Manor Primary, Uxbridge
Colbrook CofE, Slough
Coteford Infants, Pinner, Middlesex
Coteford Junior, Middlesex
Crabtree Infant, Harpenden
Disraeli Combined, High Wycombe
Elangeni Junior, Amersham, Bucks Elm Grove First, Worthing Elm Tree Infant & Nursery, Chesham, Bucks
Farnham Royal CE Primary, Slough
Field End Junior, Ruislip
Folkestone Academy (Primary), Kent
Galley Hill Primary, Hemel Hempstead
Gerrards Cross CE, Bucks
Great Missenden CE Combined, Bucks
Grey Friars, Lichfield
Gilbert Scott Junior, Croydon
Goccio Elementary, Sarasota, Florida, America
Haddenham Community Infants, Bucks Haddenham Community Junior, Bucks
Harefield Infants, Middlesex
Harmondsworth Primary, Middlesex
Hazel Leys Primary, Northamptonshire
Hermitage Primary, Middlesex
High Wycombe CofE, Bucks
Highfield Primary, Uxbridge
Highwood Primary, Herts
Highworth Combined, High Wycombe, Bucks
Hobletts Manor Junior School, Herts
Holmer Green Junior, Bucks
Holmer Green Upper, Bucks
Holwell Primary, Welwyn Garden City
Holy Trinity CE, Hazlemere, Bucks
Holy Trinity CE, Waltham Cross, Herts
Holy Trinity Primary, Hillingdon
Holywell Primary, Herts
Ivybridge Primary, Isleworth
Kingsfield Primary, Chatteris, Cambs
Kings Wood Primary, High Wycombe
Knutsford School, Watford
Lady Bankes Infant, Ruislip
Langafel CE Primary, Kent
Leagrave Primary, Luton
Leamore Primary, Walsall
Ley Hill School, Chesham, Bucks
Linton Mead Primary, Thamesmead
Little Kingshill Combined, Bucks
Little Missenden CE Infant, Bucks
Little Spring Primary, Chesham, Bucks
Longmead Primary, West Drayton
Manor Farm Communiy Junior, Hazlemere, Bucks
March Infant, High Wycombe
Mayfield Primary, Hanwell
Marlborough House, Kent
Minet Infants, Hayes
Navigation Primary, Altrincham, Greater Manchester