Growing up in South Africa I came to love insects and animals except for snakes with whom I had three nasty, close encounters. On leaving school I studied English and Drama at the University of KwaZulu Natal and once I’d graduated I travelled, got caught up in student riots in Paris and worked as an advertising copywriter in Johannesburg and London. My first book was called SKITTLEWONDER AND THE WIZARD published by Andersen Press and my latest - and 100th - is FLAT CAT illustrated by the brilliant Gwen Millward. Inbetween I’ve worked with many publishers and some amazing illustrators and my books have been translated into more than 30 languages. My RUMBLEWICK series, illustrated by Sarah Warburton, about a witch’s familiar whose witch wants to be anything but a witch, was optioned for an animated movie in 2010 although, sob, sob, there’s still nothing to see and probably never will be. Some of my favourite work has been writing script and lyrics for musicals namely THE MERMAID, THE VACKEES and LAST TRAIN TO TOMORROW, a concert piece for orchestra, choir and actors about the Kindertransport Movement of 1939. I live in London, the busy, bustling capital of the United Kingdom, where I can usually be found quietly writing or painting something.