Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
A:It kept changing. For a long time I wanted to be a pilot. Then a great explorer. Always something that took me to new places, and where I was very brave and intrepid!
Q: What are you afraid of?
A: Deep water. Although I can swim. But I spend time on boats, and the sea frightens me …
Q: What’s your favourite colour?
A: That’s something that changes too. At the moment, purple.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
A: Since I was eleven, and wrote a pony story about being lost in a big forest. I’ve been a published writer for over 30 years, and written over 40 books.
Q: Do you write by hand or on the computer?
A: I scribble and play with ideas and thoughts on paper, but when the story begins to run away with me, I work straight on to a computer, because otherwise I can’t capture the story fast enough. But I always carry a notebook in case ideas come to me as I’m walking, or on the bus … or even in the bath.
Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with?
A: Whoever I’m inventing now. I’ve just finished a new book so I’m thinking most about Ally and Leli and the strange and both wonderful and scary things they encounter in that (it’s called KISIRI which means THE SECRET). But in my last book, RIFT, I partly identified with Ella, who’s looking for her missing sister, and partly with Joe, who’s lost his memory.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
A: All kinds of places – listening and watching things around me, things I’ve read, talks with friends and family, my subconscious, dreams… Several ideas have come out of some really strange – and scary dreams.
Q: What sort of books do you write?
A: I’ve written all kinds, from picture books, to biographies, to novels, but now I’m concentrating on novels now – mystery thrillers, with a love story at the heart of them …
Q: I loved writing this bit....
A: Ella heard Joe move. She sat up.
In the sudden wash of moonlight she could see his skin damp with sweat, bruises and scratches on his outflung arm. She eased herself off the camp-bed and went across to him, bent down, peered into his face. But he was still, seemed to sleep again, and there was nothing for her to do.
A renewed, bleak terror rose - for this boy, rescued, but from what? For her sister, missing. For the others, missing.