I was born in Coventry, in the Midlands, and grew up in a nearby town called Rugby. There are only really two things that Rugby is famous for:
1) It's the place where the game of the same name was invented
2) It has the longest railway platform in Britain
And that's pretty much it really. It was, however, a nice enough place to grow up, and I spent many happy years there doing the things kids normally do - riding my bike around, making 'dens' in fields, falling over into stinging nettles etc.
I was very lucky to have a father who read me some really amazing stories. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Hobbit were two of my favourites - which I think fuelled my imagination from a very early age (whist giving me the odd nasty nightmare along the way). I also watched the movie Star Wars for the first time when I was about 6 years old and went on to watch it again daily until I was about 12. This inspired in me a love of science fiction. My other big influences were comic book heroes – namely Batman, Spider Man and the Hulk - along with their infamous spin-off 80s TV shows. It was these things that I think encouraged me to write, and I remember loving going to Primary School because we were allowed to write stories almost every day. Sadly, when I went on to Secondary School that pretty much stopped - for some reason you couldn't submit essays about inter-galactic bounty hunters and rabid android werewolves.
It wasn't until I was much older that I started writing again. I work as a teacher now myself and was inspired by the books I read to my classes to start having a go at writing some myself. Unsurprisingly, most of the stories I write are still about aliens, monsters and heroes. I was incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to write for Badger. They are a publisher that I'd used in my classes for a long time and I'd always enjoyed their fantastic range of stories. I also strongly believe in the ethos of producing books for young people that may find reading difficult or off putting.
I've two young children now myself and although my son seems to prefer steam trains and my daughter princesses, I look forward to one day reading them some of the books my dad used to read to me. I admit I do force them both to watch the 60s Batman TV show, but in my defence they seem to quite like it.
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