Roald Dahl was the first author to inspire me. His talent for making characters live and breath triggered my love of writing. I love that fantasy can touch reality, that as a writer I can make this happen on a page. I was more encouraged, though inadvertently, by an English teacher telling me "You'll never write." It wasn't the red rag to the bull you might have thought. It devastated me, for a year or two... twenty actually, but in hindsight it made me a strong and better writer.
Reading constantly children's authors like: Roald Dahl, Darren Shan, Mark Haddon, David Clement-Davies, Beverley Birch, Sarah Singleton and William Nicholson to name but a few have all helped me to grow as a writer. But I also read adult fiction to keep me abreast of different styles, techniques etc. Authors like: David Wolstencroft, Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb), Alexander McCall Smith, Joseph Finder, Dan Brown and Ben Elton among many more.
I work part-time as a ICT teacher, which I love tremendously. This gives me a chance to keep up to date with what the children like and dislike. There are often wonderful snippets to get my teeth into, my imagination sparks and a story beings to germinate