Heather’s work as a writer has always been combined with other forms of employment. She wrote her first (unpublished) novel aged 12 and won the Daily Mirror Children’s Literary Competition out of 35,000 contestants, when she was 16. With a degree in English and Russian literature from Essex University, she worked as a teacher, translator (from Russian, French, Spanish), editor and commissioning editor of children’s and adult books, often specialising in cookery. She teaches creative writing to children, has taught at the University of Hertfordshire and Queen Mary’s College, and was on the Board of Directors of ALCS (Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society) for six years.
Her first books for children, The Tractors of Thomson Yard, published by Walker Books, were inspired by her son’s fascination with tractors. At a time when there were no books with tractors as heroes, she created four titles, based on a Norfolk farm. Each tractor has its own song, and the stories explore the working life of tractors throughout the farming year.
Heather has now written over 36 children’s books, including fiction and non-fiction, picture books and game books for children of all ages. Her books cover subjects as diverse as tractors, planet earth, history, the weather, first-time stories and stories for both fluent and reluctant young readers. Her books are illustrated by many different artists, and translated and sold in many countries.
Heather is also Author/Publisher of Dinosaur Douglas Books. These rhyming, health-related picture books for Early Years, embrace literacy, oral health, hand-washing, vitamin D, obesity, healthy eating and exercise.
What the papers say about Dinosaur Douglas Books
Dinosaur Douglas and the Beastly Bugs is definitely the best children's book we have read about the importance of brushing your teeth. (British Dental Journal)
Story books that convey a vital health message have to be convincing and well illustrated, and Heather's use of rhymes combined with Alex's terrific illustrations will ensure that they grab the children's attention right from the word go. Dinosaurs are still number one on children's list of favourite subjects, so this is a sure-fire winner! (Books Monthly)
Up and down the land children will do anything to get out of brushing their teeth . . .this fantastic rhyming book reinforces the importance of regularly brushing teeth. (The Sun)
What the papers say about some of Heather's other books:
Little Bears Hide-and-Seek series, published by FranklinWatts/Hachette
My daughters absolutely love the fun way you help tidy up and find the Bears. An absolutely gorgeous book! (Amazon Review)
Fabulous interactive & age appropriate with lots of fun for both adults & children! (Amazon Review)
20th Century Russia: Century of Upheaval, published by FranklinWatts/Hachette
This book is marketed by Hachette as being aimed at children aged twelve and upwards, but I really believe it could be tackled by young adults and even older adults (like me). It is a brilliant account of the Russian revolution and its repercussions for the people of Russia and for the rest of the world, comprehensive and very readable. A superb addition to twentieth century Russian historical literature. (Books Monthly)
The Magic Hourglass: A Round-the World Adventure Game
A fascinating combination of information, story and picture book. Excellent for reluctant or new readers. (The Good Book Guide)
Winner of the YALSA Best Book for Reluctant Young Readers Award.
The Magic Stopwatch: A Sports Adventure Game
Lively descriptive paragraphs work with the visuals to produce an instructive source of knowledge about both the language of sport and the rules and tactics of play. (TES)
Diary of a Princess: the story of a princess at the time of Marco Polo
A delightful addition to any library, especially history lovers of all ages. (Magpies Magazine. Children’s literature)
Shortlisted for the English Association Award