I get asked this question. A lot. All of the time. I find it quite hard to answer; I ‘um’ and ‘er’ quite a bit, because I write all sorts! I started as a young teacher, answering an ad in the Times Educational Supplement from a company who wanted teachers to write lesson plans for publication. This quickly blossomed into writing books for schools, and home learning – and my career as a writer began. Little did I realise that I’d end up writing features for the Times Ed within a few years…probably a good thing as I wouldn’t have thought I was capable. So – I am an educational writer.
Soon after that, I started sending off manuscripts to publishers for non-fiction for children. Many were published. I wrote for many comics and websites for children too around this time. So – I write non fiction for children.
I had my first picture book published in the US – ‘Alien Invaders’ – with a brilliant illustrator. I have had others published around the world, but am most fond of ‘One Boy’s War’ published by Frances Lincoln. So – I write picture books.
I write series books (such as the ‘Too Ghoul for School’ series, along with Tommy Donbavand; I also write novels for teens, such as ‘Walking With Witches.’ So – I am a fiction writer.
I also write books for adults – mainly self-help books about green lifestyles and downshifting, but also parenting and crafts…do you see my problem? I write articles for newspapers and magazines – I am a features writer for Green Parent Magazine, for example. So – when people ask me what sort of writer I am, I have resolved to stop mumbling and just say ‘one who writes.’