As a child
I grew up by the sea, with my two sisters. I did very badly at school, because all I wanted to do was play the piano, read books and write stories. I had lots of paper dolls and used them as characters in my stories.
As an adult
I worked as a journalist – first a reporter and then a feature writer on The Western Mail in Cardiff. When I married and had children, I became a freelance journalist, working for a variety of newspapers and for radio. Because I’d done badly at school, I had a lot of catching up to do. I went to university when I was thirty-nine. After that I taught at a boys’ school, and then became a full-time writer. I spent a year as a writer-in-residence at a hospital in Dumfries. My son, Hamish, and daughter, Kate, are now grown-up. And I’ve become a granny.
As an artist
I’ve rather lost count of the books I’ve written, but I think it’s more than thirty. I like writing poetry best of all. Also, I like writing for different ages – from picture books to junior novels. I won a Whitbread Award for Harvey Angell and once upon a time, I was shortlisted for the Smarties Award. I like working in secret, preferably when there’s no one around. When I begin a story, I always hope it has something to tell me that will be a surprise.
Things you didn't know about Diana Hendry
- I wanted to be a concert pianist
- I also wanted to be a jazz singer
- I like stripy tights
- I go swimming twice a week
- My son teaches yoga. He is very bendy.
- I do yoga too – sometimes.
- I live in Edinburgh, near a river and the Botanic Gardens.
- My new grandson has just learnt to smile.
- I love chips.
- I used to try and straighten my curly hair. Now I’ve given up.