I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to be an author. I decided to study Creative Writing at Bath Spa University here in the UK, which I really enjoyed. My favourite part of the course was Writing For Young People, so I went back for an extra year to focus on that as a Masters degree.
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
It actually went surprisingly quickly! At the end of my degree we put together an anthology that contained all of our opening chapters and sent it to publishers around the country. I went to the launch party and one of my teachers grabbed me and said “Someone from HarperCollins wants to speak to you,” and I nearly had a heart attack! I went over to speak to her and she was really interested in The Lost Twin. It didn’t take long for them to decide to publish it. I was incredibly shocked as I’d expected to be waiting many years.
Could you describe literature in three words?
Surprising, Enchanting, Transportive
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
I think I would give any book a try if I had the time. But I once read a really bad biography of one of my favourite authors that I got in a bargain bin for a really cheap price. It turned out to be really annoying to read and full of mistakes. I would never read that again…
What’s your favorite book?
I have a few all-time favourites that it’s hard to choose between: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett, and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (my two favourite authors collaborating!).
“A world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels, and dreams and a world in which there is hope.” – Neil Gaiman
EBooks or paper print?
It has to be paper print for me! I love to collect books and I find it quite hard to read on a screen.
What inspires you?
I try to take inspiration from everywhere I can – books, films, TV, real life… One thing in particular that really inspires my writing is research and visiting historical places. Lots of details from the Scarlet and Ivy books come from the schools I went to and other grand old houses that I looked around.
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be? Please explain.
Having just recently read the books Nevermoor and Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend, I have to say I would love to meet Jupiter North and stay in his magical hotel. It seems like a lot of fun.
What’s your worst nightmare?
I have a fear of wasps and flying. So probably wasps on a plane…
The best decision of your life was?
Either marrying my husband or choosing to study Writing For Young People!
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
I can’t give too much away just yet… but I’ve just finished the 6th book in the Scarlet and Ivy series and am now working on a new book which will hopefully be published in the UK later this year. It’s the same genre as Scarlet and Ivy but set in a different time period. I can’t wait to be able to show everyone.