I find inspiration in all sorts of strange places, but I think Everybody Jam probably came from three main sources.


During a year-long,round the world trip, I worked at an Australian cattle station as a housegirl, a bit like Liz in Everybody Jam – except I wasn’t quite as hopeless as she is. The vastness of the desert, the isolation and way of life amazed me. There’s some photos on here. Without working there I could never have imagined Timber Creek – the place the Dawsons live in Everybody Jam.
You can see some of the other places I've been to in My Travels too.



My favourite authors growing up were Roald Dahl and Laurie Lee. Although I would read anything and everything I could lay my hands on – and still do. I have named some of the characters in Everybody Jam after a few of my favourites from books by my heroes. Danny is named after Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl, Sissy after Tom Robbins’ Sissy Hankshaw in Only Cowgirls get the Blues and Gil is named after Gilbert Grape in Peter Hedges’ What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?


Families fascinate me and none more so than my own. My brothers were my inspiration for creating the character of Danny Dawson, but hearing stories about my family has been an important part of my upbringing and is still one of my favourite things. I have been very lucky in that my Gran, in particular, is very good at recalling interesting anecdotes. One of my favourites is how a delicious dessert came to be known in the family as ‘Sod it!’ I might even include that story in the next book.