I write stories and poems for adults and children. I write because words are fun and I want to share the fun I have writing with my readers. And I love digital technology because it allows me to share my stories with readers around the world.
Illustrated by Martin Jones and read by Alex Owen-Hill.
Published by Tantamount
Waverley is a small cat with a big miaow and he lives with Mr and Mrs Turner and their son Jonathan at number 10, Marten's Drive. Waverley likes the house at number 10, Marten's Drive because it has lots of good places to sleep and a back garden that seems to go on for ever. Beyond the wooden fence at the bottom of the garden there is a children's playground, green fields, and then the woods. All day long Waverley snoozes in the sunny spots around the house. But at night he goes adventuring.
Alex Owen-Hill's delightful narration allows younger readers to listen to the story again and again while they follow along on screen.
On every page, beautiful watercolours by Martin Jones bring Waverley to life, while a scrapbook shows some of Martin's original black and white sketches.
Whether I'm in the classroom or in the kitchen or out walking the dog and taking photos of the local wildlife, my focus is all about creativity and communication
I've been telling stories and making up verses for as long as I can remember; I like the fact that when you tell a story, you get to choose what's true. At first it was just for myself and my toys; then I shared them with the dog and then with my family; eventually, when they all got tired and even the dog threatened to run away, I started using the internet to share my stories with anyone else I could get to listen. Now, with the help of digital technology, my readers are all round the world. And that can't be bad.
Words are fun. Simple words like “bed” which can mean where you sleep or where flowers grow in the garden; complex words like “pterodactyl” and “pomegranate” whose sounds and spelling tell stories about the past and about how we think of the world; words like “trap” where the sound is small and closed just like a trap itself, or “sky” which trails off without ever really ending; word families like “possess”, “possession”, “possessive”; words like “sausage” and “message” with shared sounds but no shared meaning... Yes, words are enormous fun, and poetry is one of the best ways of exploring and enjoying them.
Like many writers, I have a day job, too: I'm a teacher. I used to teach crafts, but now it's mostly IT and a bit of photography. I'm a bit of a geek and I like the gadgety side of things, but what I like most about computers are that they're about communication which, for a writer, is at the base of everything. I have an idea in the middle of the night and I can type it into my computer and suddenly it's out there where millions of people can share it. With the internet you can be anywhere and talk to anyone about anything. It's an amazing feeling of power – and just a little bit frightening – and that's part of what I aim to teach.
I love cooking. When I'm in the kitchen, whether I'm making a curry, a quiche or a cake, it gives me time to think through my stories, to tease out the different strands. Of course I do get distracted and I tend to forget to check the recipe, so sometimes the results are not quite what I intended! Walking is good, too, particularly if I don't have any ideas or when there's a knot in a story that needs to be thought through or a line of a poem that won't do what it should. I pick up my camera, call the dog, and just start walking. I see new things, I meet people, and I overhear snips of conversation. And eventually the ideas start to come together, while the rhythm of my steps helps the words find their places.