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Heather grew up in North Wales. Her family moved to Canada when she was eight, where they lived for a time in a log cabin. Later, Heather went back to Wales and obtained a degree in biology from the University of North Wales, Bangor.
Her books for children have received several awards. The Girl with the Broken Wing was one of Richard and Judy's 'Best Children's Books Ever' in 2007, The Boy in the Biscuit Tin was nominated for the Galaxy Best British Children's Book Award in 2008, and The Fish in Room 11 won the Highland Book Award.
Heather is an editorial consultant and has taught creative writing at The University of Worcester, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and now at Aberystwyth University, where she is also studying for a PhD in creative writing.
Which writers, books or ideas have inspired you?
Heather: 'I loved reading books with magic in them – especially stories where something magical happens in the real world. I longed for it to happen to me. I particularly loved the Narnia books by C S Lewis, and climbed into my mother’s wardrobe (mysterious with its old shoes and handbags that I’d never seen her wear) hoping that one day the magic would work and I would find a way into Narnia. I also loved reading ‘flying’ stories like E Nesbit’s The Phoenix and the Carpet or Enid Bylton’s Wishing Chair books, in which the children had a chair in their playroom that could grow wings and fly.
The Flying Bedroom was inspired by a dream that a friend’s daughter (Elinor) had, in which her bedroom had detached from their house and could fly through the sky – with her in it.
If your main characters existed in real life would you be friends with them?
I’d be friends with Elinor – as long as she would let me come and have a sleepover in her flying bedroom!
Visit Heather's website to find out more