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Ross Montgomery

As a child

I was born in Berkshire and spent most of my childhood frolicking in Windsor Great Park, establishing my street cred at an early age by joining my school’s Maypole Dancing Club. I’ve always loved reading, writing and telling stories – I began by reading old Beano annuals and drawing my own comic strips, but soon moved onto longer chapter books novels. I quickly realised what stories can do!

As an adult

I boarded at a boy’s secondary school in London and, for a few years, I hardly read or wrote at all – it was only when I had an unexpected hospital stay that I started writing again, as there was nothing else to do! I forgot how much I loved it, and starting writing again. I wrote a gothic children’s book with my sister, and once I started working as a teacher I had a go writing a book by myself – it ended up being my first published book and I haven’t looked back since!

As an author-illustrator

My first book, ALEX, THE DOG & THE UNOPENABLE DOOR came out in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award – since then I’ve had seven books published, a mixture of fantasy adventure novels for 8-12 and picture books. THE TORNADO CHASERS came out in 2014, followed by PERIJEE AND ME and THE BUILDING BOY (with David Litchfield) in 2016, CHRISTMAS DINNER OF SOULS in 2017 and MAX AND THE MILLIONS and SPACE TORTOISE (with David Litchfield) in 2018! At one point I was teaching and writing at the same time, but I decided that I quite liked having time for other activities like eating and sleeping, so I’m now a full-time writer. I will write anywhere – I particularly like working in noisy, busy places – but I was having to take a mortgage out on all the coffee I was buying so I’ve started training myself to work at home!

Ten things we didn’t know about [insert name]

  1. I have weird thumbs.
  2. I once fainted in front of the Queen.
  3. I used to have 22 guinea pigs.
  4. When I was younger I was so obsessed with HORRIBE HISTORIES that I used to write letters to Terry Deary – he wrote back!
  5. I play the accordion very, very badly.
  6. My cat is called Fun Bobby.
  7. When I was 8 I used to write detective stories on an old typewriter.
  8. I used to invent my own characters by dressing up as them, including a stuffy old professor with a monocle called Dr Robotnik, and a pro wrestler in spandex called Ribcage Man who had his own theme tune.
  9. I used to have a crippling phobia of fish.
  10. I was deaf until the age of four.

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