About me

From a young age I always wanted to be a writer – but also dreamed of being a scientist, a doctor, a musician or an artist, and I'm still fascinated by those things too. I didn't have any idea how to become a writer, but as a child I used to read the text on shampoo bottles and think I could improve on it, if only I knew how to get that job! Actually writing books was so far from what I considered possible, I didn't aim for that.

But I studied English at university and was then lucky enough to get a staff job at Usborne Publishing, where editors are trained to write books in-house. Three years later, I went freelance, moved to Edinburgh, and began working with a range of other publishers too. I live in famously eccentric Morningside with my kids and cats.


I love...Camping, wild swimming, trees, streams, wild places, cities
Sewing, textiles, fabric and surface patterns, design, architecture, everything about colour, especially orange!
Books, paper, pens, post-it notes, Washi tape, Sharpies, lovely colour-coded filing systems

Folklore, myths and legends, stone circles, Skara Brae, ancient artworks, mysterious ruins.
Yorkshire, the Lake District, Iceland, London, and the sea anywhere.
Music and playing in bands. I've played trombone for many years and played in lots of bands, including being part of a live Peel session with Scottish band Ballboy. I'm now also learning the drums with Edinburgh drummer Bruno Piedigrosso.

My favourite...
Books: Beowulf, Jane Eyre, Roget's Thesaurus
Children's writers: Arnold Lobel, Natalie Babbitt
Animal (apart from my cats): Snow leopard
Food: Mashed potatoes
Things to write about: Space, sharks, making things, design, myths and legends, mysteries of science, the sea, the brain.

Curious bits and bobs...
I have quite strong synaesthesia. I feel and see colours and shapes for tastes, sounds, days, months, numbers and letters.
I've lived in Iceland (as an au pair), Canada (as a student) and Costa Rica (as a rainforest conservation volunteer).
I work in a sleeping bag (winter only).