About Me

Hello and welcome! This is the bit where you can find out more about me. Here are some of the questions people often ask:

Where do you come from?

I was born in Canada, or the Great White North as I sometimes call it. (Actually, it's only snowy and frozen half the year. The other half it's quite hot.) Now I live in Scotland, a beautiful place with hills and lochs and very friendly people! Best of all, Scotland is never too hot or too cold. I have lived in Glasgow since 1992, and along the way have acquired a lovely husband and two fantastic children.

What were you like as a child?

As a baby I was cute but cross-eyed! Luckily that didn't last long and I turned into a shy and quiet kid with blond hair. I loved drawing and writing, and hated anything to do with numbers. My favourite thing to do was make silly things from plasticine while watching cartoons.

What was your family like?

I grew up in a big old house with my mum and dad and my little sister. My dad was an English professor and my mum organised classical music concerts. In the summer holidays we always drove for about four hours to a cottage near a lake. Sometimes we went to my grandparents' cottage on Pigeon Lake. My grandfather loved fishing, and he had a big motorboat that went really fast. When he turned corners it tipped up sideways and I was terrified that I would fall into the water! I also hated the big angry fish he caught that would flop all over the bottom of the boat. I was a bit of a scaredy-cat!

What is the strangest job you've ever had?

When I was at university I spent a summer repairing china plates and cups and figurines for a lady who had an 'invisible mending' business. I glued broken heads and arms back on, and made new fingers and noses where they had been chipped off. Then the lady painted them so perfectly that they looked as good as new. It was a useful skill to learn, but I never want to see another china figurine as long as I live!

When did you start writing?

I used to write and illustrate my own stories when I was little. For ages I thought I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. When I turned eighteen I went to art school to study illustration. But illustrating books is very hard work! I decided I was much happier just writing the story. I love all the illustrations in my books - they are so much better than anything I could have done!

Where do you write?

I have a little sunny space at the top of the stairs where I've set up my computer. I like to write on a keyboard best because it is so much faster and I can change words around quickly and easily. If I write on paper I soon have a horrible, scribbly mess because I change my mind a lot!

Do you collect anything?

If you look at my desk you will see all the toys and pictures I like to have around me. Whenever I write a story I try to find something to spark my imagination. I have written stories about puffins and crows and frogs, so you will see all those things around my desk. I also keep a lucky troll with orange hair, and pictures of my children and my husband.

Where do you get your story ideas?

I started writing children's books for my own children when they were small. My first book is about a penguin because my son Cameron loves penguins! My second book is about a little boy who hates bedtime and gets a leopard hot water bottle to keep him warm and cosy. (That's also Cameron.) My third book is about a brother and sister who are always fighting (guess where I got that idea!) And my fourth book is about penguins again! I get story ideas from all sorts of places, but having kids helps a lot.

Do you have a favourite character from your books?

I love the twins Ella and Sam (so beautifully illustrated by Melanie Williamson) and also Arthur, the loyal friend of Patrick the pink penguin.

What do you do for fun?

Writing is still my favourite thing to do, but I also like listening to music on my MP3 player, baking chocolate chip muffins, playing my tin whistles (when no one else is around to hear me) and reading books that make me laugh.

What is your favourite food?

I have a sweet tooth, so I love desserts! My very favourite is apple crumble made with Bramley apples and brown sugar. I also love very dark chocolate. If I had to choose something healthy it would be a big bowl of fruit or a sweet and crunchy raw carrot.

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