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  • Wonderland
  • Undertow
  • Eden

Joanna Nadin

As a child

As a child I buried myself in books both at home in Essex and at my grandparents’ houses in Cornwall, where I spent a large part of my time, and where many of my stories are now set. Books and later films were an escape not just from where I was but who I was, which, as I saw it, was pretty much a geek. They gave me the freedom to become someone else, from George in the Famous Five to Velvet Brown winning the Grand National to Baby dancing the Chachacha with Johnny Castle.

As an adult

As an adult I worked my way through a degree in drama, an MA in political communications and jobs from a runner for a TV company to radio newsreader to special adviser to the Prime Minister. Kind of varied, but all because I figured they would make me into the kind of person I wrote stories about in my head – someone interesting. It took a long time to realise that writing the stories was more exciting than my day job. That I was never going to get to be a war correspondent, or champion ballroom dancer, or win the grand national. But by writing down what was in my head I could be anyone and give myself whatever ending I wanted.

As an artist

As a writer I’m fascinated by identity – by what makes us who we are, and how we learn to accept that, or try to change it. This theme runs throughout my teen fiction, featuring implicitly in the Rachel Riley series, and more explicitly in both Wonderland and my next book Undertow.

Things you didn't know about Joanna Nadin

  1. I still want to win the Grand National and dance the merengue with Patrick Swayze. Never going to happen.
  2. I am a politics junkie, and still write speeches for government ministers
  3. I once curtsied to the Prime Minister with a slice of pizza in my hand. Big mistake. Huge mistake.
  4. I have seen The Breakfast Club 57 times and still love every minute.
  5. I like Marmite on toast for mains breakfast, and jam on toast for pudding.
  6. I’m a hopeless romantic.
  7. I am constantly saddened that The West Wing isn’t real.
  8. I have a season ticket for Arsenal that I have never used or even seen.
  9. At various points in my life, and hairstyles, I have been mistaken for: Yvette Fielding, Jennifer Saunders and Tamsin Greig.
  10. The first record I bought was Buck’s Fizz ‘Making Your Mind Up’. The second was The Jam ‘Eton Rifles’. Which negates the first.

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