Frequently Asked Questions

These are based on discussions I have had with children over a number of years.
Why do you write so many kinds of books?
I write the books I would like to have read when I was that age. If I wasn’t a writer, I would want to be a zoologist. It all about looking at things and trying to understand how they work.

Where do you get your ideas from? | Ideas come from all over the place. A chance conversation. An overheard comment. Something in the paper. Or an idea just pops into your head. It’s always a good notion to keep a note book. You think you will remember but often you don’t!

How long does it take you to write a book?
The ones that take the shortest time are the funny ones that come off the top of my head. The natural history books and the historical novels take much longer because of the research.

How important is the research in your historical novels?
Absolutely vital. The reader must believe they are in the period I am writing about. Characters must behave within the constrictions and conventions of their time and most important of all they must be real people.

Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Often a character will be an amalgam of different people. Often it will be based on myself and people very near me. It is always this way because the characters come from me.

Have any of your books been made into films?
Not yet but I’m always hopeful and never give up trying!

Which is your favourite book?
I like them all and they are all different.

What are you working on at the moment?
I always have lots of projects on the go!

If you have any questions about me or my work, please complete the form on the contact page. I cannot guarantee a direct response but I will try and put any interesting questions in the Q&A section of the site.