About Gina

ginablaxillWhen I was twelve, I somehow managed to sprain my ankle during a PE lesson, and 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 become more interesting since.

I grew up in Finchley, North London, with my parents, brother and a number of greyhounds. 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 I learned how to cook meals slightly more complicated than pasta with pesto and participated in lots of musicals in which I was always cast as “tall girl at the back” – i.e. being hidden away where no one could see/hear me.

My writing story begins before the ankle incident. I always loved creating stories, either by myself or with friends and my brother, and I started writing things properly aged about nine. My first ‘book’ was an epic 36 A4 notebook story featuring thousands of characters, as well as countless “spin off” notebooks which were diaries of characters I particularly liked. 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.

Apart from writing, I have worked in education for  seven years giving advice and guidance to teenagers about higher education and organising events, which are great for stealing biscuits from. Before that I worked as a freelance proofreader, an evening receptionist, in admin making tourism and conservation meetings happen, and even in the bankruptcy service.

Outside of writing, I enjoy creating artwork (some of it story inspired), cooking things other than pasta with pesto, watching bad crime dramas, Zumba and Clubbercise classes and attending my monthly book club. I currently reside in the mighty Essex where I live with a husband who shares a name with a Pretty Twisted character, baby son and two imperious cats called Nicky and Toby.

I am represented by Becky Bagnell at the Lindsay Literary Agency.

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