ml_photoBorn Marie-Louise Chalcraft in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

I attended a string of state schools, including Chiltern Edge in Oxfordshire. Once my family moved down to Bath in 1979, I attended Fitzmaurice and St Laurence schools in Bradford on Avon. Throughout my primary school years I was constantly told off for reading secretly and writing long stories instead of completing maths sheets. I’m not sure any of my teachers ever read my stories, but I had a lot of books taken away. When I was eleven, one teacher confiscated The Lord of the Rings in the middle of the Battle of Helm’s Deep, and I nearly suffered severe psychological damage waiting a week to find out if Aragorn survived.

My A-levels were in German, French and English and I went on to study German and Danish with literature at the University of East Anglia.

I did more studying and various translating and teaching jobs, including teaching at a university in Germany for four years. Then I returned to Britain to be a full time mother and home educator. These were the years in which I overcame my education and regained my creativity. I read lots and started writing again.

In 2004-5, I took the MA in Writing for Young People at the Bath Spa University and passed with distinction. I am published by Oxford University Press.

The Bath Festival of Children’s Literature