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Joyce Dunbar

As a child

I was brought up in an industrial steel town in the north of England, one of four children. My father was a steelworker. We lived in a street called The Screeds. When I was seven, we moved to new estate. It was fantastic to have a bathroom. The estate was near some old iron-ore quarries and we were warned not to go there. Of course, we did go there. We called them the Valleys, and had great adventures.

As an adult

I spent several years teaching, mostly literature to adults. But I wanted to be a writer and it was just a pipe dream. When I was thirty-five, I realized that I didn’t have to wait for permission. I just had to do it! I was amazed when my first book was immediately accepted. I have published seventy books since then and there are many unpublished on my shelves (quite right, as some are very bad).

As an artist

I started out writing longer novels but my agent suggested I try a picture-book text. I wrote three. They were all accepted and I was hooked! I just love working with illustrations. I have some more books inside me waiting to be written - they seem to find their own moment. At least one is a book for adults. I would have been flabbergasted if I’d been told, as a child, that I would become a writer. I wanted to be a hairdresser!

Things you didn't know about Joyce Dunbar

  1. I have a cat called Minnie-Ha-Ha. She is a champion ratter but thinks she’s sweet.
  2. My favourite colour is green.
  3. Favourite supper – anything cooked by anybody else.
  4. I could skim up a rope like a monkey when I was at school.
  5. I have cycled across Cuba.
  6. I have been to the Himalayas with a guru.
  7. My life is stranger than anything I could invent.
  8. I’d like to be a naturalist/explorer if I weren’t a writer.
  9. I hate losing things – but that doesn’t stop me.
  10. I like to doze and dream.

Website:

Joyce Dunbar



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