I am the author of six books for children, and co-author with my brother, Marcus, of the graphic novel Dark Satanic Mills
and illustrated novel Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black.
On the way to realising my childhood ambition to write, I studied Chinese and Philosophy at Cambridge, before working variously as a bookseller, painter, and researcher and script developer for film and TV and therapist.
The first book in my Mysterium
trilogy - The Black Dragon
- was published by Hodder Children’s Books in 2013 and won the Rotherham Children’s Book Award. Following completion of the Mysterium
, I returned to my fascination with East Asia and set my Ghosts of Shanghai
trilogy in war-torn, (and ghost-ridden) 1920s China.
My most recently published book -Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black -
was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2020.
For the last three years I have been proud to be Patron of Reading for Leighton Park School and have now made over 200 school and festival visits both in the UK and abroad.
After initial fear (!), school visiting has become a vital and rewarding part of my work as a children's and YA writer.
My new book, Tsunami Girl, will be published by Guppy Books in 2021. Find out more about that here.
I live near Ely, Cambridgeshire, am married and have two wonderful grown-up sons. I still combine writing with my work as a Zen Shiatsu therapist. In my spare time I draw as much as possible, juggle badly, try my best to improve my Japanese - and wait for the weather to get cold enough to go fen skating.