I love books. Books have defined and shaped all the key stages of my life. A A Milne taught me about rhyme – and reason; Barbara Sleigh fired my imagination and my playtimes with the Carbonel stories. Black Beauty was the first book that made me cry, while Ruby Ferguson’s Jill books transported the pony-mad girl in me away from the city.
In my teenage years, I found solace in Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and Judy Blume’s novels, while To Kill A Mockingbird and Flowers for Algernon educated me about justice, humanity and judging people. At University, I turned to Jilly Cooper for respite during exams and Mary Wesley’s books introduced me to characters whose shoes I wanted to step in to. When I gave up my PhD to write my first novel, the works of Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain, Jane Gardam and Barbara Trapido inspired me to write fiction with strong female leads and original, sometimes eccentric characters.
I really do love books. Everywhere I’ve lived has been filled with them – from my childhood home to student digs, from dodgy flat shares to my first place in deepest darkest Camden Town and now my current home in the heart of Hertfordshire. All lovingly organized into my own personal library. I don’t own an ebook reader – I’m happy to continue to design my space around my book collection. Every book I own is a treasured possession of mine, an essential part of my history. Every book I own, quite literally, tells a story.
I’m a single mum and I live rurally in Hertfordshire with my son Felix (13), my daughter Georgia (11), two dogs (Twig and Bee) and a horse (Nathan). I write from a converted stable in our back garden. When I’m off duty, I like to do ceramics, a bit of baking (“The Drizz” is how my lemon drizzle cake is affectionately known) and tinker about on our small farm.
In 2012 I set up and now run the Hertford Children’s Book Festival. I am also a judge for the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s ‘Rural Living Awards’.
In 2014, I was made an Ambassador for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer – I want to do all I can to raise awareness and funds in memory of my friend Hannah Berry who died, aged 30, in 2013.
When I was at school I was often chastised for daydreaming too much – it never ceases to amaze me that this is now a fundamental, approved component of my career. Since 1996 I’ve had 13 novels published, all bestsellers and translated into many languages. Thanks for stopping by – enjoy my website.
I love connecting directly with my readers – so please do follow me on twitter @freya_north and on Facebook or use the contact form on the website.