My name is Elen Caldecott, I am a writer for children and young people. I live in Bristol with my husband and my dog, Biff. Before Biff arrived, I had an imaginary dog called Augustus Snags. Most days I sit at our kitchen table for an hour or so and write; Biff sits under the table. Then I go to work in a cinema. Sometimes Augustus comes with me.
I have always liked to read books. When I was a child I would write sequels to some of my favourite books because I couldn’t bear to say goodbye to the characters. Eventually, I started inventing characters of my own.
Before becoming a writer, I was an archaeologist, a nurse, a theatre usher and a museum security guard. It was while working at the museum that I realised there a way to steal anything if you think about it hard enough. I either had to become a master thief, or create some characters to do it for me so I began my debut novel, How Kirsty Jenkins Stole The Elephant.
My second novel How Ali Ferguson Saved Houdini came about when I wondered if it would be possible to keep a zoo in a terraced house. Operation Eiffel Tower came about when I wondered how you might keep your family together when you only have £23 to do it. The Mystery of Wickworth Manor was inspired by a painting that I often saw as I was growing up. The Great Ice Cream Heist came out of an encounter in my local park while I walked my dog.
My favourite kind of stories are ones where very ordinary people do very extraordinary things. So, these are the kind of stories I set out to write; real life, but with the promise of adventure. Two of my favourite writers, Hilary McKay and Frank Cottrell Boyce, do this brilliantly and I would love to be as good as they are one day.
If you would like to email me, my address is contactATelencaldecott.com (replace AT with @).