Rosalie Warren

Did you read when you were a child?

Yes, avidly, from the age of four. My favourite book was Richmal Crompton’s Just William, and it still is!

When did you start writing stories?

Even before I learned to write, I used to tell stories with stick-figure drawings. When I was older I tried to write murder mysteries for my mother, who could never get enough of them from the library. I wrote my first novel at the age of 15, during a school summer holiday. All my friends were away and I was bored out of my mind. It was written in red biro, which faded over the years. Last time I looked it was completely unreadable – just a pinkish blur on the page.

Published books:

For adults: Charity’s Child (2008, Circaidy Gregory Press) and Low Tide, Lunan Bay (2009, Robert Hale). Coping With Chloe (2011) for Phoenix Yard. More books for children (and adults) on the way.

Don’t give up the day job.....

I’m now a full time writer but I have done a lot of different things. I have a degree in science and I’ve taught maths and chemistry to marine engineers; chemistry to hairdressers (perm lotions, bleaches…) and English to disaffected students. When my younger child started school I did a part-time MSc in Artificial Intelligence (focusing on human language, communication, and psychology) and enjoyed it so much I went on to do a PhD. I loved research but after a few years found myself teaching computer programming, which I loved slightly less. I was also a self-employed gardener for a while (mainly mowing huge meadows with my tiny lawn-mower).

Likes and dislikes?

Likes:  theatre; Beethoven; swimming in the sea; the colour red; buying shoes; collecting signed first editions of my favourite books.

Dislikes: some of the silly rules in writing manuals and the Coventry ring road (equally ridiculous and frightening too).

What inspires you to write?

Thinking: ‘What if so-and-so happened?’ or ‘What would it be like to be such-and-such a person?’

Books have always helped me cope with problems. I want to write books for children and young adults that will help them feel less alone in the world, for children who are aware of being different in some way. I want to write books that encourage readers to question everything and to think for themselves.

If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?

Jo from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

If you could climb inside a story, what would that story be, and what would you do once inside?

I think I’ll have to go back to Just William to answer this. I would like to be the first female full member of the Outlaws (not just an admirer like Joan and certainly not like Violet Elizabeth), and take part in all their adventures. I would show them that girls can be just as resourceful as boys and, as we grew up, William and I would fall in love and live happily together for 60+ years. I think at some stage we might possibly emigrate to Africa.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A writer. Or possibly a dolphin.

My website is: