Who is the horse in the photo?
His name's Sampson and he's a Haflinger. He used to belong to a friend who let me ride him.
Have you got a horse of your own?
Yes. His name is Kubus and he's a Haflinger too so he looks just like Sampson. He's very sweet natured and I love him to bits.
How many books have you written?
More than 40
How long does it take to write a book?
An Amy Wild or Princess Ellie book usually takes 2 months, including the thinking time. Picture books are quicker - they take about 2 weeks. But sometimes a book takes much longer because I go wrong and have to start again. There Must Be Horses took well over a year, but there was a lot else going on in my life at the time so I kept having to stop.
Are you famous?
I don't know. I think my books are better known than I am.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Almost anything can trigger ideas - items in newspapers and on TV, things that have happened to me, things that have happened to other people. If I'm stuck, I go for a walk or read a book about creating plots to get me thinking. The best ideas often come when I'm not really trying. One day II had the best idea I'd ever had while I was having a shower, but I'd forgotten it by the time I got out!
Do you know any other authors?
Yes, lots. Children's authors are a very friendly bunch of people so we keep in touch with each other and get together when we get a chance. I often chat to Linda Chapman about horses because we're both pony-mad.
Are you going to write any more Princess Ellie books?
I don't think so. Princess Ellie's Perfect Plan is the last of the series.
Are you going to write any more Amy Wild books?
Not a the moment. Eight feels like enough right now. By the way, did you know the Amy Wild books are very popular in Japan. She's called Mia over there.
Do you have any pets?
I've got my horse but I'm not sure that he counts as a pet because he doesn't live at home. And my next-door neighbour's ginger cat has moved into our house. But I don't have any sheep, green or otherwise.
What are you writing now?
I'm currently working on some books for writers where I'm passing on everything I've learned about writing in the last 25 years. The first one is about plotting and it's taking me ages.
Why did you decide to switch to self-publishing?
Publishing has changed a lot since I first became an author. Back then, self publishing didn't really work because it was very expensive and it was almost impossible to get the books into bookshops. Now, thanks to the digital revolution, the cost of publishing has dropped dramatically and the internet has made selling the books easier too. I'm thoroughly enjoying self publishing. It's faster and more fun than going down the traditional publishing route. It also lets me choose my own editor, copy editor and designer and have the final say on the cover.