What inspired you to write your book?
I didn’t set out to write animal stories for children – it just happened. The first book I ever finished was Kiwi in Cat City in 2002. I had been made redundant and suddenly had a lot of time on my hands.
The story was inspired by a little black, fluffy, golden-eyed, chubby cat that I used to have, called Kiwi. She was cheeky, intelligent, curious, and liked to follow me down the road on the way to work – I’d have to scoop her up, take her back and run off! I’m sure she’d have hopped on the train with me if she could. Kiwi liked to chase shadows on walls, munch Whiskers food, roll on her back with her paws in the air for strokes, and hunt birds (alas, she was very good, and it was the only thing we argued about). When she wasn’t trying to swipe the dinner off my plate when I wasn’t looking or jumping in the air to catch a moth in mid-flight, she’d be curled up on my bed or waiting to pouncing out at me. One day she followed me to the supermarket round the corner, waited patiently on a wall, and then came back home with me.