I went to school in Berkshire, graduated with a degree in history from St Andrews, then moved to London. Straight out of university, I had my first book published, A Horse for the Summer, whilst working in-house as an editor at Usborne Publishing. Editor by day, writer by night, A Horse for the Summer was written under my maiden name, Michelle Bates. I wrote the book as a one-off but it ended up being popular enough to allow me to write a further seven titles about the characters. It was called the Sandy Lane Stables series.
After my son was born, I left my job in publishing (still in editorial, but now at Orchard Books) and went freelance, working from home on various projects.
It was whilst I was trying to find books for my son to make the bridge from picture books to black-and-white text that I came up with the idea for a boys’ series, Dinosaur Land, which went on to be published by Egmont. I wanted to create something simple but still illustrated. For girls, I have written Angel Wings – a series about an angel called Ella who dreams of getting enough halo points to make it through the Guardian Angel Academy. My son’s obsession with Star Wars brought me to the mantel of fighting machines with a collaboration with Matt Whyman – Battle Champions, written under the pseudonym Jack Carson. I collaborated on the Wild Friends series for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with Linda Chapman as well as the Hello Kitty fiction for Sanrio.
I am now back in the realm of publishing having been appointed Senior Commissioning Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books where I am looking for original fiction in both middle grade and young fiction areas.