"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good story in the slightest."C.S Lewis.
Where did you get the idea for The Chocolate Box Girls, one of your most loved series?
I wanted to write about my dream family, in a way - lots of sisters, a rambling house on the edge of a cliff beside a lovely beach, cool parents with a very cool business (chocolate making!), and lots of adventures! Plus... well, the chocolate research was always going to be a bonus!
When did you realise that you wanted to become an author?
I've wanted to write and create stories and characters ever since I can remember. As a teen, I sent literally hundreds of short stories to my favourite teen magazine, Jackie, hoping they'd publish one... and after art college (I studied illustration) I ended up getting a job as Fiction editor on that magazine, which was kind of an irony!
What book do you think you enjoyed writing the most?
The first one, Dizzy, will always be special to me. It was the first time I had managed to write a full length book and that was exciting in itself... and because I had no publisher at that point, there was no pressure, no deadlines, just the joy of writing!
If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and why, and what would you do?
Wow... there are so many I'd love to meet! My all-time favourite character is Mouse, from Dizzy and Lucky Star, as he's so honourable - but also such a rule breaker! If I could spend the day with one character though it would probably be Honey, the rebellious older sister from the Chocolate Box series. That way I could hang out at Tanglewood and meet the other sisters and their friends. Is that cheating?
How many fan letters do you receive per month, approximately?
Maybe thirty paper letters.... this rises to fifty at some point, and they come from all over the world, which is cool. When it comes to emails, FB messages, Insta messages, twitter messages etc. we're talking hundreds a month... 500+ and twice that when I'm doing a book tour. It's hard work keeping up with it all!
Are there any future books that you have in mind?
My newest book, LOVE FROM LEXIE, will be out on June 15th... I am VERY excited about it as it's the first in a new series, LOST AND FOUND, about a bunch of misfit kids who accidentally form a band. I am writing the second book in the series at the moment.
Which character do you think is must like you and why?
There's a little bit of me in characters like Skye, Coco and Cherry, and also characters like Hannah from Driftwood and Jude from Sundae Girl. I'm quite shy, daydreamy and creative, but also eccentric with a fierce save-the-world streak! If I'm really honest, I am probably most like Tess, Finn's mum in my first book Dizzy!
*NO WORDS HAVE BEEN CHANGED. ALL WORDS ARE PURELY OF THE AUTHOR.