How I make a book

1. Over-sharpen pencils while trying to think up an idea

2. Stand by kettle wondering why – like an eagerly awaited parcel from postman – idea hasn’t arrived yet

3. scribble scribble, a character, a name, maybe I’m onto something???

(what is it about the back of envelopes, with all those nice expensive sketchbooks left untouched?)

4. Start collecting some bits and pieces to get a sense of the LOOK of the book

5. Plan out the story in small thumbnail form

(beginnings and endings are difficult, middles jolly tricky too)

6 get the story rock solid, polish every word until it’s shiny

(and then – hooray! – paint the pictures)

It makes me very happy

My books are all about children – whether shown as real or in animal form – and the dramas, the funny things and the worries they encounter in day-to-day family life. If my readers find in these stories a little bit of cheerful encouragement, and something to smile about, that makes me very happy.


I really like lists. I also like

chocolate buttons
train journeys
paper bags