MaleUnited KingdomMember since 16 Jan 15Last online 2 years ago

As a child
I grew up in a large Catholic family in Felling-on-Tyne. I always knew I'd be a writer – I wrote stories and stitched them into little books. I had an uncle who was a printer, and in his printing shop I learned my love of black words on white pages.
As an adult
After school, I read English and American Literature. When I graduated I became a teacher – long holidays, short days, just perfect for a writer. Suddenly, out of the blue, I found myself writing Skellig. It was as if the story had been waiting for me, and once I began, it seemed to write itself. I hadn't expected to write a children's novel, but in some way it was the natural outcome of everything I'd done before, and was the stepping-stone to everything I've done since.
As an artist
For years, I was hardly published and hardly anyone knew about me apart from a handful of keen fans. And I made just about no money at all from writing. That didn't really matter to me. I'd keep on writing, no matter what. Then I wrote Skellig and everything changed. I began to sell lots of books, to be translated into many languages, to travel, to win lots of prizes. I've written a number of novels after Skellig, including Kit's Wilderness, The Fire-Eaters and Clay. Last year, I had a cabin built at the bottom of the garden. It's very nice, blue-grey and surrounded by trees. I have a radiator to keep me warm and I have a tap and a kettle for making tea. Every morning – when I'm at home and not travelling or making school visits or talking to people on the phone or answering emails – I carry my laptop down to the cabin and I set to work.

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