From the foothills of the Himalayas to the five valleys of Stroud
I WAS BORN IN MUSSOORIE, INDIA, in the foothills of the Himalayas. My Indian father and English mother met as teachers in Iran and married in Mumbai. By the age of eleven I had lived in an Indian palace in the Punjab, a flat in a bombed out street in Shepherd’s Bush, London, a bungalow in Poona, and a terraced house in Ealing, London. I now live in a little Victorian terrace cottage in Stroud, which is my base, my home, and my place of work.
My family had settled in England where I completed my schooling and further trained as a music student at Trinity College of Music, London. After studies in Paris and Berlin I joined the BBC, first as a Studio Manager in radio, then as a Production Assistant and Director in Music and Arts Programmes in television. Later I married Barrie Gavin and we had two children: a son, Rohan, and a daughter, Indi. It was then that I began writing children’s books, and felt a need to reflect the multi-cultural world in which my children and I lived.
With an Indian father and an English mother, I inherited two rich cultures which ran side by side throughout my life, and which always made me feel I belonged to both countries. It was also the driving force behind most of my writing. Travel, which was such a feature of my childhood, is still in my blood and a source of inspiration.
Since my first book, 'The Magic Orange Tree' was published in 1979, I have been writing steadily, producing collections of short stories, teenage novels, plays, and contributing to anthologies and educational schemes for the whole age range from six to sixteen.
"I inherited two rich cultures which have run side by side throughout my life..."