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I grew up a in a little village in Hampshire (in the UK) but through the pages of the books I read, I felt as though I also kind of lived in Narnia, in Malory Towers, underneath the floorboards with the Borrowers or in a warm, messy, love-filled kitchen inhabited by Shirley Hughes' characters.

 

Loving books and reading with a passion, the obvious choice was for me to do a degree in economics (yep, I still have NO idea what happened there...), but eventually I came to my senses and trained to be a primary school teacher.

I loved working with the children in my classes and stories were an integral part of every day for us. My dream of inspiring a lifelong love of reading meant that I spent whole weekends browsing in children's bookshops, which helpfully enabled me to justify buying books by the wagon-load (reader, a confession... I would have bought them anyway!). 

This continued after I stopped classroom teaching to bring up my three wonderful children (I know, I know – I'm biased, but they really are pretty awesome) and followed me all the way through to the forest school sessions I run, which always feature stories. I can't think of much that's better for the soul than entering the imaginary world of a great book while playing outside in the woods (unless it's snuggling up under a blanket and sharing a story with your favourite people, because that's also pretty special).

I can't quite believe that I'm now getting to live out my lifelong dream of writing books for children and I count my lucky stars every day that I get to be part of such an amazing process. Reading has been a common thread running throughout my life, weaving together everything that's happened to me, whether good or bad. It has been a comfort when things were hard, a motivator when gumption was needed and a sprinkle of magic when nothing else would do. Being given the chance to share this joy with other young people in the hope that reading will impact them in the same way is the best feeling in the world. 

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Warwickshire, UK

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