Former British diplomat and Oxfam policy adviser, she has now published over thirty books in genres ranging from historical adventure to fantasy. Read carefully and you’ll spot all sorts of material from her diplomatic and Oxfam careers popping up in unexpected places. She has a doctorate in English literature from doctorate in English literature from Oxford.
Writing as Stirling, 'Finding Sky' is shortlisted for the German Children's Literature Award 2013 and 'Stealing Phoenix' reached the last three of the Lancashire Children's Book Award 2013.
She is also a Fellow of the English Association. Over half a million of her books have been sold worldwide in many languages.
Keep on writing through until end of first draft without worrying about getting it absolutely right - you can always go back once you've got the whole story down.
Lots of things came into my head when I read that question but I suppose I would say the same as I would to my own children: build your life on real values not on flimsy stuff like wanting to make money or be a celebrity. If you aim to leave the world a better place after you've passed through it then that would be a life well lived.