Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town called Ilford - just to the east of Central London. My local library was a wealth of used books that I came across one dark and stormy afternoon when I took shelter from the cold rain.
Once inside, I passed the time browsing a range of teen books and ended up selecting a mystery genre from the Sweet Valley range. I became an avid reader at the age of thirteen when I religiously began following the world of the Wakefield twins!
When did you first start writing?
My English teacher set us a writing task when I was in Year 8 of high school. While other students scribbled notes to one another, I dove straight in - jotting down ideas, plots and drafting characters for the story that was shaping in my head.
A week later, we were handed back our assignments and I vividly remember the red A drawn at the top right hand corner. The small note next to it filled my heart with joy - Excellent work! - my teacher had written.