I was born in a Lincolnshire village, and I now live in a Norfolk village. I have lived in cities but I feel more at home in the countryside.

My favourite books when I was young

Mary ChapmanI've always loved reading - books, magazines, newspapers, even cereal boxes and sauce bottles, if there's nothing else! Books take me into other worlds. As a child I longed to have adventures like George of the Famous Five, or Jane Turpin, of the Jane books by Evadne Price. Jane, like Richmal Crompton's William Brown, was always in trouble! And how I wished I was like Jo in Little Women, or Katy in What Katy Did, two more favourite books.

My careers before becoming a writer

As a teenager I wanted to be a journalist, but after studying English at University College London, I did supply teaching, and then a post-graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Leeds.

For several years I taught English in secondary schools, first in Yorkshire and then in Norfolk. I really enjoyed encouraging young people in their own creative writing. Then I made a career change, and trained to be a social worker and later a family therapist.

As a teacher, social worker and family therapist I was always involved with children, young people and their families. In my spare time I started writing stories for children, and sending them to publishers.

I finally succeeded when Evans published my first book, Danger Money, a short novel for teenagers, set in World War One. Evans then published three more of my short novels and a short story for teenagers. When these became unavailable Ransom republished them in 2013.