GET TO KNOW US
What do you do?
I scrutinise every word, writing and rewriting. I also train people to get their best story across.
Why do you do it?
I love the craft of unpicking a piece of writing and putting it back together again. The challenge, the problem-solving. And I love stories – telling them, hearing them, shaping them and analysing them. I feel like they’re important, too, because we understand the world through stories.
Which projects have you worked on?
At Quietroom, I’m still warming up. Out in the world, I’m an award-winning author and I’ve edited fiction and non-fiction for other writers. I’ve worked on screenplays for Hollywood producers and I’ve written songs for boybands and Latvian popstars.
What are you most proud of?
You’d think I’d be most proud of my bestselling thrillers for children. Or the messages I get from kids saying they love my books. Or from parents and teachers telling me they’ve got a ‘non-reader’ who can’t put my books down. But no. The top ten things I’m most proud of all happened on a cricket pitch. I’ve hit Devon Malcolm for six. There are very few people in the world who can say that.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I’m usually working on my next novel. I also speak at schools all over the world to get kids reading and writing. My job, whether I’m at the Quietroom office or not, is to use stories to inspire people.
Meanwhile, I read, watch movies, cook, eat, play geeky board games or poker, play snooker, draw, play the piano, walk my dog… and I aim to play about 50 games of cricket a year.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
Ask yourself, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”