I have wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little kid.
I used to hide in an old barn and write and draw for hours on end. One day I sat still for so long, a shrew climbed onto my foot!
The Dundirk and the Jabbersquirm was my first attempt at a novel (aged 8). I wrote it in my Mr Men notebook.
Dreams have a funny way of turning out though. I studied how the brain works at university and then did a masters in Public Administration. (I can’t remember what ‘public administration’ actually is, but I’m pretty sure you don’t need it to be a writer or illustrator.)
I then worked my way through a string of eclectic jobs, including software trainer, fitness coach, copywriter, and (my personal favourite) Christmas tree decorator.
I still dreamt of writing. But I didn’t actually do much. The anxiety and self-doubt put pay to that. Instead, I scribbled random notes and shoved them in a box beneath my bed. This is the box:
Everything changed when I moved to the coast and got a job in a publishing company. The publishers commissioned me to write my first book Oh Sugar!, which was translated into 9 languages and is soon to be re-released as Say No to Sugar.
I then wrote a children’s novel, which was shortlisted for The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. (This made me sit up and think: perhaps I wasn’t a deluded nutball, after all. Maybe I could make a go of this?)
I started doodling little animals and characters. It felt good. I started putting my doodles onto t-shirts and greetings cards, and before I knew it, I had an online shop!
I’m now busy finishing my children’s novel, writing a picture book, and making notes for a book on creativity, which I will also
It may have taken me 50 years, but I am finally the writer and illustrator I always wanted to be. Along the way I had a helping hand in the form of TRE (tension releasing exercises) but that’s a whole other story, which you can read about here…
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