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Rob Lloyd Jones

As a child

I was born in San Francisco but moved to England when I was young. I was a lucky, happy boy, with a big family and a house near the woods. I loved those woods. There was treasure there, and maybe faeries. Certainly ghosts. I liked school. That's not a cool thing to say, but its true. History, especially. All those things people did, all those stories. Every school has good and bad teachers. The good ones you remember forever. I remember Mr Balchin’s ‘Imagination’ classes. He played music, and as we listened we wrote stories. It wasn’t on any syllabus, but nothing from school has stayed with me more.

As an adult

After school I travelled and worked around the Middle East. It was one of the happiest times of my life. But it was the places that left the deepest mark, places that dripped with history. I studied Ancient History at university, travelling around Greece and Italy and Egypt. I found stories in history books more thrilling even than fiction, because they really happened. Those knights actually hacked off prisoner's heads to fire from their giant catapults. And they did it here. After university I was lucky to get a job as a writer for children's publishing. I wrote books about the Crusades, and London and Ancient Egypt. But, more and more, I wanted to make up tales about people living in these places.

As an author

I don’t believe people who say they don’t have ideas. Everyone has ideas, all the time. Some people just write them down. I get mine by asking 'What if?' a lot. What if something is living in those clouds? What if that train hits me, and I survive without a scratch? I'm not good at working alone. The silence hurts my head. To write, I go to places around London – the Royal Festival Hall, British Library (which is noisier than it sounds), or coffee shops. I drink a lot of coffee. I dream about it too sometimes.

Things you didn’t know about Rob Lloyd Jones

  1. I once worked as a shepherd. Its really easy. You just sit there watching sheep. Sheep do nothing.
  2. I have several scars from a motorbike accident.
  3. I never learned to ride a motorbike (these two facts are painfully connected)
  4. My favourite book is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, or Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
  5. I spent two months trying to cycle from the bottom of Alaska to the top. I didn't even get half way. No one told me it was that big.
  6. If you ever meet me, I guarantee that I will have a roll of tape in my pocket. And, when we meet, I'll explain why.

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