BIO

I've been doodling since I could hold a crayon - on paper, on walls, sometimes on my sister! At school I doodled in EVERY lesson - not just art - especially when I wasn't supposed to. Perhaps, I wondered, there might be  a job called 'Professional Doodler', so I went to art college to find out. I learned all sorts of impressive dooling techniques and left with an actuall doodling qualification!

I travelled the world as a 'professional doodler' - design studio to design studio - working as a theatre doodler, fashion doodler, jet-setting 'cool-hunter', accessory doodler, shop window doodler, packaging doodler, new product doodler, doodle consultant, doodle director (ooh, posh!), university lecturer and children's book doodler. The children's book doodling was the most fun and, thinking it would probably be a whole lot more fun if I could write the words too, I had a go.

Ember Fury, my first illustrated teen novel, was published by Headline in 2009. Ember Fury was Borders' Children's Book of the Month in September 2009 and was shortlisted for The Young Minds Book Award. Next I scribbled a darkly comic horror story about a teen ghost, Scarlett Dedd, which was published in September 2010. Scarlett Dedd was selected for the first Richard and Judy Children's Book Club and published in the US in 2012 by Delacorte. My third book, Verity Fibbs, a fast-paced thriller, hit the bookshelves in October 2011. The following year I published two books - Everything is Fine (and Other Lies I Tell Myself), a story of sadness, summertime and surfing (a real tear-jerker) and GRAPHIC, about teen artist Joe whose sketchbook drawings come true!
More recently I've enjoyed illustrating books by some wonderful authors like Melvin Burgess and Karen McCombie.
So what's next? I have several works in progress this year, including a very exciting collaboration with the brilliant Jo Cotterill called ELECTRIGIRL. The first book will be published in February (OUP) and the second, due for release in August 2016, is taking shape right now!
I've also begun a part-time MA which I hope will allow me to try out some slightly subversive ideas I want to explore but which might not be suitable for mainstream children's publishers! I shall still be illustrating othe people's books, while blogging, tweeting, teaching design and touring around the country to festivals, bookshops and schools, endeavouring to convince teenagers, teachers and parents that doodling is a proper job!

Things I LOVE . . .
Strong coffee, sunsets, starting a new sketchbook, old-fashioned roses, movies with subtitles, hot horseradish sauce, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, open fires, discovering indie bands before they 'make it', long walks in the Surrey Hills, a good TV drama, reading with my nieces, sand dunes, dressing-up for a night out in London, cashmere socks, music that makes me cry, finding a bargain on eBay, raw carrots, teaching design, coral pink toenails.

Things I could live without . . .
Traffic jams, country music, coriander, dark winter days, the smell of wet dog, fireworks, cucumber, exams, football, doing my tax return, uncomfortable shoes, timetables, the dark, facing the 'wrong' way on a train, crowds, 'reality' TV, forgetting to back-up data, cupcake frosting (yuck!), surprises, lilies, fried eggs.