Hello and welcome to my website!
I think I must have the best job in the world, because I spend all day doing what I love best – writing books. I was fourteen when I had my first poem published in the local newspaper and, after that, there was no stopping me (although I had to wait quite a lot longer before my next efforts made it into print!). All of my first books were about history and written for children and primary teachers. If you’ve ever watched some of the BBC schools’ history programmes in school, then the chances are you will have used some of my resources afterwards, in your classroom. I used to be a teacher and a teacher trainer myself, so I hope you thought my ideas helped to make your history lessons more interesting.
However, I always wanted to write a novel. I kept trying out different ideas, but never found one that worked. Until the day I met Rocky, a former champion racing greyhound, who’d fallen on hard times and been rescued by a loving family. Suddenly, I knew I had the story I wanted to write about and, after a lot of hard work and many, many different attempts, this became The Stephensons’ Rocket. Friends in my writers’ group persuaded me to enter the opening chapter into a competition – and I won first prize!
I’d only ever intended there to be one book about Rocky, but somehow ideas for his adventures kept coming, so there just had to be a sequel, called And Rocky Too and now I’m writing the third in the series. The books are for 9-11 year olds, but I’ve been so pleased that lots of older readers and grown-ups are reading them too. Parents and teachers tell me that children who don’t usually enjoy reading love these stories, so I’m especially pleased about that.
I was born near Brierley Hill in the West Midlands, where my family live, so I can still speak fluent Black Country. I lived in Southampton for over twenty years ago and recently moved to Salisbury, where I have a wonderful view of the cathedral. I try not to spend too much time looking at it, though, or I’d never write anything. I have one daughter and I always show her the manuscript first, as she is my fiercest critic!