About the Author

I was born near Ely, in the Fens, three years before World War 2 started. My father was a printer but, like most men, he was called up into the army. I had no brothers or sisters and lived with my mother, who ran a small stationery shop.

This is me, when I was about six. I had missed a school photo, and my teacher (who was very nice) took me later to a garden and took a ‘special’ picture of me:

I was a solitary child, and a bit of a dreamer. I quite liked being alone and spent a lot of time roaming the countryside. I also read a lot. My favourite books were Biggles, Just William and the Swallows and Amazons. All three were series, and I loved them because every time you opened a new book all your favourite characters would be there.

Every Wednesday evening a big bundle of magazines and comics arrived at our shop, tied with string, and delivered from the railway station. These were all arranged in the shop for sale the next day – but I was able to read all the comics the night before. There were Comic Cuts, Film Fun, Dandy, Beano, and Mickey Mouse. I loved them all.

I knew before I was ten that I wanted to make up stories, and best of all would be to make up a whole series of books.

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