How did the opportunity to write the new ‘Secret Seven’ novels come about & how excited were you to do this?
Alex Antscherl (Editorial Director of Enid Blyton Entertainment at Hachette) read my Izzy series of books and got in touch to say she’s like me to write a new Secret Seven book. I couldn’t believe it! I was such a huge Secret Seven fan as a child! I still can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to go back in time and tell eight-year-old me all about it (she’d definitely faint!).
Are there plans for any more books in this series after these two?
I cannot answer this question unless you know the official Secret Seven password. Soz.
Congratulations on becoming a Mum! We guess you must have your hands full now, so how has the new addition affected your writing?
Baby Albie has gifted his mummy with the skill of super-speedy writing. I can only really write when he naps (and he’s not the best napper!) so I’ve had to learn to write even faster than I did before! I’ve just finished the new book in the Izzy series and I am proud to say it was written solely during baby Albie’s short naps. The pressure of squeezing in as many words as possible before baby wakes up has made this book the most frantic adventure yet!
We hear you have a new “den” for your writing. Has it helped your writing having your own space to escape to?
Yes! I wrote the new Secret Seven book in my very own Secret Seven shed. It was AWESOME! And it definitely helped to create the perfect writing atmosphere. I always wanted a Secret Seven shed as a child but we lived in a block of flats without a garden so we had to make do with holding our secret meetings outside in the bushes in the communal green. It took until I was 34 to get my own writing shed/secret den but it was definitely worth the wait. I treated myself to some ginger beer and ginger biscuits and set a secret password while writing the first book. Now that I’m working on the second book, my baby is the only one who’s allowed to know the password (sorry husband and cats!).
Other than the Secret Seven, do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
Along with Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Nicola Sturgeon, Mel from Bake-Off and many more I’ve contributed to a collection of Enid Blyton favourite stories which will publish in October. I’ve also just finished the new book in the Izzy series (‘There’s A Yeti in the Playground!) which will also be published in October. Aaaand I’m exciting to say there are even MORE Izzy books in the pipeline. As well as new secret Izzy project…
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Please come and visit us in Essex again soon!