Animals were never far away during my childhood.
This is my pony, Jessica. I spent hours riding her around, exploring, often joined by curious giraffe or zebra.
My home was once part of Karen Blixen’s farm: she wrote a book about her life in Kenya, called OUT OF AFRICA. It was made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. the film
Her book begins, ‘I had a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills’ – and that’s where our house was. You could see the knuckle shapes of the hills through acacia trees at the bottom of our garden. It was near vast tracts of open land and forest with only a few scattered villages, and it stretched to the edge of the great Rift Valley.
My parents got hold of two ponies from a wild herd, and somehow my sister and I persuaded them to let us get on their backs. After falling off a lot, we learned to ride.
We spent all our time outside – making dens, climbing trees and wandering about on those ponies. And I daydreamed a lot, making up stories in my head.
Nowadays I still spend a lot of time outside, walking, exploring, reading, and learning to sail. I also like films and theatre. And I’m still daydreaming, making up stories in my head, but also writing them down in my books.
How I write – and some writing tips
Scroll through the slideshow to find different tips …