I was born and educated in London but dropped out of school as soon as possible to work and travel; much later as a ‘mature student’, I gained an honours degree in history from Sussex University.
My first job in publishing was as an editorial researcher, checking scripts for BBC quiz programmes; subsequently I went freelance and worked as an editor with various publishing companies, including Diagram Visual Information, Dorling Kindersley, where I was the senior editor for DK’s Children’s Illustrated Encyclopedia, and Gaia, where I worked on The Peace Atlas.
Increasingly though, I concentrated on writing, partly because it enabled me to combine work and, as a single mum, bringing up my daughter. Many of the books I wrote were illustrated non-fiction books for children and young people, most of which went into schools and libraries. Increasingly though, I found myself writing quite a few books for the adult market. Some such as Land Girls and Their Impact (2008) and my books on conscientious objectors during the two world wars, gave me the opportunity to meet, interview and tell the stories of the people I was writing about.
Today, I live and work from my home in Hastings, which I share with my partner Marcus, a musician and writer. I have a daughter, Sarah, and two lovely grandchildren, Lilly-Grace and Alfred. They live in Australia.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, gardening and wandering by the sea with my digital camera. I have no idea how many photographs I’ve taken of the sea — it never fails to fascinate me.