Curriculum Vitae

This is a slightly modified web version of my traditional CV, listing my previous jobs and professional and technical skills. For a list of publications, please go to the BOOKS page.

Email address:


1996 – present Freelance writer and editor
1993 – 1996 Writer and editor
Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT
Autumn 1992 Computer systems clerk
Chase Manhattan Bank, Bournemouth, Dorset
Summer 1992 Research and administrative assistant
Intelligent Games, London
Previous Employment Care work with the disabled, children and the elderly; recording spoken text for the blind; various clerical and manual work; part-time proofreading and research


1996 – 1997 University of Toronto, Canada
MA in English Literature
1988 – 1992 Pembroke College, Oxford
BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature (1st)
1986 – 1988 Bradford and Ilkley Community College, Bradford
A-levels in English Literature (A), Sociology (C) and General Studies (A)
1983 – 1986 Greenhead School, Keighley, West Yorkshire
9 O-levels

Experience, Skills and Courses

  • Researching and writing children’s non-fiction books, covering a wide range of subject areas including science and technology, computers, wildlife, art and craft, history, Shakespeare, the paranormal, archaeology, geography, geology, and retellings of myths and legends
  • Writing children’s fiction, particularly rhyming stories for preschoolers
  • Researching and writing non-fiction partwork spreads
  • Researching and writing encyclopedia articles for both print and CD/online publication
  • Writing cover and catalogue blurbs, press releases and listings copy
  • Some journalism and subbing, including theatre reviews and fashion and lifestyle features
Editing & Project Management
  • Extensive project-managing, copy-editing, proofreading and indexing of children’s books
  • Rewriting authors’ copy to various house styles
  • Copy-editing academic books
  • Fiction plot development, structural editing and rewriting
  • Children’s non-fiction list development and consultancy
  • Commissioning and briefing designers and artists
  • Liaising with consultants and experts
  • Photo and picture research, negotiating, buying and admin
  • Managing and training assistant staff
  • Arranging, preparing and managing studio photoshoots
  • Preparing camera-ready books for production
  • Organising and maintaining budget plans and records
  • Desktop publishing and layout using Quark Xpress and Adobe InDesign
  • Word-processing using Pages and Word
  • Extensive web-based research, and web authoring using HTML and WordPress
  • I work on a Macbook and iPad
  • Writing and delivering talks on being a writer, and on non-fiction subjects, for schools and festivals
  • Logo, poster, flyer and CD cover design
  • 3-month conservation work placement in Costa Rica in 2002 (conservation experience and first-hand experience of tropical rainforest wildlife)
  • 3-day course in Printed Textile Design at Heriot Watt University, July 2015
  • 5-day Arvon course in Writing for Children at Totleigh Barton, Devon, August 2004
  • 2-day course in children’s publishing at Book House, Wandsworth, London, June 1995
  • 3-day copy-editing and proofreading course at Book House, Wandsworth, London, May 1994
  • 8-week (16-hour) typesetting and printing course at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, autumn 1991

Other Interests and Information

  • I play trombone and have played in orchestras, brass bands, folk, funk and soul bands
  • Creative writing
  • Crafts including sewing, quilting, beading, designing clothes and furnishings, screen printing, textile design
  • Clean full driving license
  • Non-smoker
  • Some knowledge of Spanish, French, Icelandic, Italian and German