The UAE-based children's author gaining international recognition
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• I was honoured when I was chosen to attend the Meeting of the 100 retreat for the 2016 Year of Reading, with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and other members of the government and ruling family to support planning for this important initiative, which will include the building of a new library for 4.5 million books, opening in 2017.
• My second book, The Case of the Exploding Brains, was published last year and my third, Unicorn in New York, followed early this year.
• Winning Worcestershire’s Awesomest Book Award, and being nominated for the Leeds Book Awards 2015 and the Redbridge Children’s Book Awards, are the accolades I’ve particularly enjoyed, as the selectors are children, librarians and teachers.
• Since becoming a children’s writer, I’ve made over 50 school visits in the UAE and the UK and have loved every single one.
• I believe that happiness and creativity are contagious, so I like to surround myself with people who are my kind of bonkers. I’m always looking for ways to collaborate with interesting and inspiring writers and artists. Be proud of the things that make you ‘weird’ or ‘different’, because they’re what make you stand out.
• The past 12 months have possibly been the most perfect of my life, although, if I could have done anything differently, I would have perhaps eaten slightly less cake and got slightly more sleep.