I am originally from Warwickshire but grew up in rural west Wales. I’m currently based in the north of England but have also lived in France, Syria and Egypt and I believe that all these countries have influenced my work.
As an undergraduate, I read Arabic at the University of Durham and then gave up languages in favour of going to Film School. I completed an MA in screenwriting in my mid twenties, then trained as an English teacher and started a business.
I have spent the last ten years writing, illustrating and, as those of you who are familiar with the Father Christmas letters will know, bringing both together to create a distinct storytelling style. My Father Christmas letters have been enjoyed by thousands of children worldwide and every year I make a small collection of them available to print from available from November onwards at www.rooftoppost.co.uk.
At the moment, I also teach screenwriting on a part-time basis at the Northern Film School in Leeds.
My artistic background is almost entirely self-taught. However, I have built up a good deal of experience over many years.
In terms of media, I tend to work in gouache and watercolour, though I also enjoy collage. I employ a number of different styles in my creations, depending on what’s called for. I am particularly fond of attempting photo-accurate still life, scientifically accurate botanical studies and bright, cheerful children’s illustrations.
I work mainly on commission.
My writing background is varied. I write children’s stories in both poetry and prose, and it is within those forms that I have had the greatest commercial success. However, I also have a particular interest in dramatic writing – particularly in film and TV. I have an MA in screenwriting and in the last few years have teamed up with a co-writer, Keith Dando, in order to develop script ideas. It has surprised me how productive and enjoyable it is to work closely with another writer and although it is early days for us, we have placed in several well-known screenwriting competitions and have high hopes for our latest story.
In addition to writing myself, I love helping others develop their work. I devote a good deal of time to this and I am currently lecturing part-time in screenwriting at the Northern Film School in Leeds.
To date, I am in the middle of three different writing projects. They include a new Grandma’s Cat book (for children aged eight and above), a second children’s picture book and the most lengthy, a new co-written feature script.