About Gina

ginablaxillWhen I was twelve, I somehow managed to sprain my ankle during a PE lesson, and I ended up with my mum in A & E. I remember being excited and thinking, “If a biography gets written of my life, this is the first interesting thing that’s happened to me.” Looking back I don’t think that was really true at all, but luckily life’s been more interesting since then!

I grew up in Finchley, North London, with my parents, brother and a number of greyhounds. I’ve always loved London, which is why it features in so much of my writing. Growing up I really enjoyed school (I was the teachers’ pet and always did my homework on time). I always loved reading and managed to collect a vast collection of books. My favourite authors were Tamora Pierce (fantasy about kickass girls), Elinor Brent Dyer (schoolgirl stories – I dreamed of going to boarding school) and pretty much any mystery writer I could get my hands on. This love of reading led to me studying English at University, where as well as reading books I learned how to cook meals slightly more complicated than pasta with pesto and participated in lots of musicals (I was always made to stand at the back where no one could see/hear me).

My writing story begins way back before the ankle incident. I always loved creating stories, either by myself or with friends and my brother, and I started writing things properly when I started secondary school. My first ‘book’ was an epic 36 A4 notebook story featuring thousands of characters. It had no real plot or direction, but I enjoyed writing it. After that I wrote a fantasy novel about elves (which contained every fantasy cliche possible), a sci-fi novel, another fantasy tale, a story about fantasy characters on modern day earth, and then, finally, I decided to try something contemporary, and the book that became Pretty Twisted was born. It had a lot less of a catchy title then though.

These days as well as writing books, usually in my local Caffe Nero, I have somehow ended up working in education, giving advice and guidance to teenagers and organising events, which are great for stealing biscuits from. Before then I worked as a freelance proofreader, an evening receptionist, making big tourism and conservation meetings happen, and even in the bankruptcy service. This isn’t as cool a past job list as many authors, but oh well.

Outside of reading and writing, I enjoy creating artwork (some of it story inspired), going to the theatre, cooking things other than pasta with pesto, eating unusual food and lots of fruit, watching bad crime dramas and spending time with my family and friends.

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