A brief autobiography
I was born in Leicestershire in 1965, the son of a factory fitter and a primary school teacher.
I loved books from an early age and some of my earliest memories are of visiting our local library. The picture books that I borrowed then, including Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss and Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson have had a great influence on the picture books that I now write. Like many children of my generation, another author who made a huge impression on my early childhood was Roald Dahl.
Although I'd enjoyed writing stories from a very early age, it wasn't until I was about fourteen-years-old that it occurred to me that I might write for a living. I tried to make the covers of my school rough books look like real book covers. I produced a whole Ruf Notes trilogy as well as A Complete Guide to Ruf Notes each with its own reviews and biographical details on the inside covers and publisher's blurb on the back. Of course, there was nothing inside the books – except the rough notes that I took during lessons!
It was while I was at college, studying architecture, that I first started developing my own illustrated texts, illustrating poems and lyrics that I’d written. Click here to see some of these early illustrations! Pleased with the results, I found myself spending more and more time on writing and illustration. I qualified as an architect, but after a few years working in the profession, I left to become a stay-at-home dad and to try my luck at a new career as a children’s author, illustrator and paper-engineer. I didn’t make it as an illustrator, but succeeded as an author and paper-engineer! My first book, Doohickey and the Robot, was published in 1999.
I've since written over sixty children’s books and my work has been translated into over 30 different languages. As well as writing picture books such as Bringing Down the Moon, Someone Bigger, The Princess and the Pig and Ruby Flew Too, I also write and paper-engineer pop-up books. My books have won several awards including the Red House Children’s Book Award for Pigs Might Fly and the Sheffield Children's Book Award for The Pig's Knickers.
I now live in Nottingham with my wife and family.