More about me

Age: 39 (scary old, I know!)

Pets: Rabbits when I was little. Then cats. Then Mum got allergic, so a black Labrador called Coco. She died a few years ago. We were all devastated.

Fave movie: Breakfast at Tiffany's. I love Audrey Hepburn, she was so beautiful and such a stylish lady. Oh and Field of Dreams, about a man who builds a baseball field in the middle of his corn field. There's a great line in it, 'If you build it, he will come.' I use it on my kids. They have no idea what I'm on about and think I'm barking. It kind of means, if you put the work in and want it badly enough, your dreams will come true. I love sports films. Can't bear watching real sport on the telly though – weird, eh?

Fave food: Strawberry ice-cream. Sorry, is ice-cream a food? Maybe not. Proper food: mashed potato with lots of Kerrygold butter and melted cheese. Yum!

House: We live in Dun Laoghaire, in Dublin, near the sea. Our house was built in 1820 and it's freezing in the winter.

Me and my sisters
(Me with my sisters - Emma's first day of school - she's the teeny tiny one with a doll in her hand - isn't she cute! And on holidays, with our au pair, Paz.)

1st boyfriend: 1st boyfriend! Who came up with these questions, little minxes? If you must know it was a boy called Michael when I was in P6. I was eleven and he was twelve. We held hands in the playground for three days and then it was all off and he started holding hands with my friend. Typical!

School: I went to St Andrew's College in Booterstown, Dublin. My son, Sam goes there now which is a bit weird. He has some of the same teachers I had. Spooky!

Jobs: Mostly in bookshops. With the odd strange one like screen printing, house cleaning, and selling long distance telephone packages. I was useless – this was in Boston and as soon as they asked 'Are you Irish, honey?' I'd start chatting away to them for hours. I never sold a thing.

But mainly I've been a children's bookseller. Best job in the world.

Have you met J K Rowling? Yes, actually I have. A couple of years ago. Very nice she was too. I've also met Judy Blume, Jackie Wilson, Eoin Colfer, Derek Landy, Darren Shan and loads of other brilliant writers. If you want to meet writers, be a bookseller!

Best friends: I've had the same best friends since I was thirteen – they've put up with me for 27 years – amazing! Their names are Tanya and Nikki and we have great fun together. Nikki can't sing but loves karaoke (sorry, Nik, but you know it's true!) and Tanya is very stylish and loves fashion. Oh and there's also Andy, who I've also known forever, a fantastic sailor and all-around nice guy. And Martina of course, who I met more recently, a highly talented writer who gives great advice on all kinds of things from books to boys.

Pics of me when I was a teenager
(Me with my best friends, Nicky and Tanya and also my passport photo - isn't it terrible? Yuck. That was before I discovered make-up!)

Fave Music: Anything from Abba to a creaky voiced guy called Tom Waits who writes the best lyrics ever. I listen to all kinds of things really. Sam loads new songs onto my pink ipod and I listen to them while I'm walking or running. He's a star!

Fave Books: Yikes! Where do I start? I'll give you some of my favourite authors. I love Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy, Judy Blume, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Raymond Carver (short stories and poems), Anne Tyler, Dr Seuss (don't laugh, he was a genius); I adore this picture book called Where the Wild Things Are about a little boy called Max. And I'm crazy about children's books in general. Always have been. See My Favourite Books for many, many more!

Do you keep a diary? I sure do. I've kept a daily diary since I was a teenager. I used to keep lists of boys I liked, but I don't do that anymore obviously! I now list movies I've seen and books I've read and I rate them all out of 10. I'm a bit of a nerd that way.